- St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
name =St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York city
nrhp_type = nhl
caption = View of the cathedral from
Manhattan, New York
lat_degrees = 40
lat_minutes = 45
lat_seconds = 30.96
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 73
long_minutes = 58
long_seconds = 34.68
long_direction = W
James Renwick, Jr.
architecture = Gothic revival
December 8, 1976cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1646&ResourceType=Building
title=St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lady Chapel, Rectory and Cardinal's Residence|date=2007-09-18|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service]
December 8, 1976
refnum = 76001250
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
St. Patrick's Cathedral is a
decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic
cathedralin North America. It is the seat of the archbishopof the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church, located on the east side of Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in midtown Manhattan. It faces Rockefeller Center.
Purchase of the property
The land on which the present cathedral sits was purchased for $11,000 on
March 6 1810, as a site for a school for young Catholic men to be conducted by the Jesuits. This school failed, and in 1813 the land was sold again to Dom Augustin LeStrange, abbot of a community of Trappists(from the original monastery of La Trappe) who came to America fleeing persecution by French authorities. In addition to a small monastic community, they also looked after some 33 orphans. With the downfall of Napoleon in 1814, the Trappists returned to France, abandoning the property. The orphanage was maintained by the Diocese of New York into the late 1800s. Some of the monks resettled to Canada and eventually founded St. Joseph's Abbeyin Spencer.
Construction of the cathedral
The Diocese of New York, created in 1808, was made an
archdioceseby Pope Pius IXon July 19, 1850. On October 6, 1850, Archbishop John Joseph Hughesannounced his intention to erect a new cathedral to replace the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in downtown Manhattan. The "Old Cathedral" had been destroyed by fire in 1866but was rebuilt and rededicated by 1868.
The new cathedral was designed by
James Renwick, Jr.in the Gothic Revival style. The cornerstonewas laid on August 15, 1858, just south of the diocese's orphanage. At that time, midtown Manhattanwas far north of the populous areas of New York City.
Work was begun in 1858 but was halted during the Civil War and resumed in 1865. The cathedral was completed in 1878 and dedicated on
May 25, 1879, its huge proportions dominating the midtown of that time. The archbishop's house and rectorywere added from 1882 to 1884, and an adjacent school (no longer in existence) opened in 1882. The Towers on the West Facade were added in 1888, and an addition on the east, including a Lady Chapel, designed by Charles T. Mathews, was begun in 1901. The stained glasswindows in the Lady Chapel were designed and made in Chipping Campden, England by Paul Vincent Woodroffe between 1912 and 1930. The cathedral was renovated between 1927 and 1931, when the great organ was installed and the sanctuary enlarged.
The cathedral and associated buildings were declared a
National Historic Landmarkin 1976.cite web|url=PDFlink|http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/76001250.pdf "St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lady Chapel, Rectory, and Cardinal's Residence". August 1976, by Carolyn Pitts|368 KiB |title=National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination|date=1976-08|publisher=National Park Service] cite web|url=PDFlink|http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Photos/76001250.pdf St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lady Chapel, Rectory, and Cardinal's Residence--Accompanying 1 photo, exterior of church under construction.|193 KiB |title=National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination|date=1976-08|publisher=National Park Service]
*The cathedral is built of white
marblequarried in New Yorkand Massachusettsand can accommodate 2,200 people.
*The cathedral is bounded by East 51st Street to the north, Madison Avenue to the east, East 50th Street to the south, and Fifth Avenue to the west.
spires rise 330 feet (100 meters) from street level.
*The windows were made by artists in
Chartres, Birmingham and Boston. The great rose windowis one of Charles Connick's major works.
St. Michaeland St. Louis altar was designed by Tiffany & Co.. The St. Elizabeth altar was designed by Paolo Mediciof Rome.
St. John Baptist de la Sallealtar remains one of the few original side chapel altars commemorating the patron saint of catechists and teachers. The adjoining stain glass window depicts the Bull of Approbation granted by the Vaticanto the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schoolswho, since 1848, have conducted numerous parish grade and high schools throughout the Archdiocese of New York, as well as Manhattan Collegeand Lincoln Hall.
Stations of the Crosswon a prize for artistry at the World Columbian Expositionin Chicago in 1893.
pietàis three times larger than Michelangelo's "Pietà". It was sculpted by Araldo Perugi, who immigrated from Carrara, Italy.
*A bust of
Pope John Paul IIis located in the rear of the cathedral, commemorating his visit to the city in 1979.
Francis Spellman, later cardinal, undertook a major renovation of the main altar area of the cathedral in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The bronze baldachinoin the sanctuary is part of this work, and the former high altar and reredos that stood there were removed and replaced. The original High Altar of St. Patrick's is now in the University Church of Fordham Universityat Rose Hill in the Bronx(Spellman's alma mater). Coincidentally, that church, built in the 1830s, is also home to stained glass windows donated by King Louis Philippeof France for the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral downtown when it was originally being built. The windows were installed in the Fordham church when it was discovered that they did not fit in the Old St. Patrick's. Clendenin James Ryan donated the Rose window. He was the grandson of Thomas Fortune Ryan and Ida Barry Ryan who built St Jean Baptist on 78th and Park Avenue.
* In the 1980s,
John Cardinal O'Connorundertook further renovation work, most notably the construction of a new stone altar in the middle of the sanctuary, closer and more visible to the congregation. It was built from sections of one of the side altars that was removed to reposition the baptismal font in the north transept.
* The roof is made from slate from
pipe organs, built by George Jardine & Son in the 19th century, have been replaced. The Chancel Organ, in the north ambulatory, was made by the St. Louis firm of George Kilgen & Son, and installed in 1928. It has 39200 pipes. The Grand Gallery Organ, by the same company, was installed in 1930, and has 5918 pipes. [http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/StPatrickCath.html]
The combined organs, totaling 177 stops and 9838 pipes, can be played from either of two five-manual consoles installed in the early 1990s to replace the original Kilgen consoles.
*The eight past cardinals, aof the cathedral. Four cardinals' "
galeros" are located high above the back of the sanctuary. Cardinal Spellman's galero was also worn by Pope Pius XIIwhen he was cardinal. John Cardinal O'Connorhad Toussaint's remains moved from the cemetery of St. Patrick in the crypt below the main altar of the present St. Patrick's thedral. The process of canoniza of Pierre Toussaint is underway.
Archbishop Cardinals Spellman and
Terence Cooke, is also buried in the crypt, along with Msgr. Michael J. Lelle, rectorof the cathedral in the 1900s. An unverified Lavelle died, Lavelle entombed there as well. because of the presence of the tombs of three candidates for canonization — it is possible to obtain such as to pray for a special intentions.
Some notable people whose funeral Masses were said at the cathedral include
New York Yankeegreats Babe Ruthand Billy Martin, legendary football coach and Fordham University alumnus Vince Lombardi, singer Celia Cruz, United States Senator from New York Robert F. Kennedy, and New York Giantsowner Wellington Mara. Special memorial Masses were held at St. Patrick's following the deaths of Andy Warhol, Joe DiMaggio, and author William F. Buckley, Jr..
t. Patrick's in popular culture
Nelson DeMille's 1981 novel, "Cathedral," concerns a fictional seizure and threatened destruction of St. Patrick's Cathedral by members of the Irish Republican Army. Much of the novel is set in and around St. Patrick's Cathedral, and details of the cathedral's structure contribute important elements to the plot.
December 1989, approximately 5,000 protestors arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral during Mass in a demonstration directed toward the Roman Catholic Archdiocese's public stand against AIDSeducation and condomdistribution in the public elementary schools, as well as its opposition to abortion. [ACT UP. [http://www.actupny.org/YELL/stopchurch99.html 10 Year Anniversary of "Stop the Church"] Accessed 4 July 2007.] A short documentary about the protest, titled "Stop the Church", was originally scheduled to air on PBS. The documentary was eventually dropped from national broadcast by PBS, but still aired on public televisionstations in several major cities including New York, San Franciscoand Los Angeles. [Steinfels, Peter. (September 13, 1991) [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9D0CEFDE1739F930A2575AC0A967958260 Channel 13 to Show Film on AIDS Protest] " New York Times". Accessed 4 July 2007.]
The cathedral, and the gravestones are featured in
the Whitlamssong "When Fondness Makes the Heart Grow Absent" from the album " Little Cloud".
heavy metalband Savatage's 1991 album "" features a song called "St. Patrick's" during which the main character, DT Jesus, speaks to God in the cathedral demanding an explanation for his misfortunes.
August 2002, radio shock jocks" Opie and Anthony" broadcast a couple having sex in a vestibule in the cathedral. The DJs were suspended from WNEW-FM a week later and their show was subsequently cancelled. [ [http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/jimkoch1.html The Smoking Gun: Archive ] ]
The cathedral appeared on the movie "Spider-Man", when
Spider-Mansaves Mary Jane Watsonand leaves her on a roof-garden near the cathedral.
The cathedral features prominently in
Nelson DeMille's 1981 novel, "Cathedral", and James Patterson's 2007 novel, " Step on a Crack".
The underground ruins were the setting for the climax of "
Beneath the Planet of the Apes" where Taylor destroyed the Earth with the Alpha-Omega bomb.
The cathedral was used as the venue for the wedding of Wilhelmina Slater to Bradford Meade in hit ABC prime-time show "
The cathedral ranked 11th out of 150 buildings in the recent list of America's Favorite Architecture. [ [http://favoritearchitecture.org/afa150.html FavoriteArchitecture.org] ] 17499
List of Roman Catholic Bishops and Archbishops of New York
* [http://www.saintpatrickscathedral.org St. Patrick's Cathedral Website]
* [http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID054.htm St. Patrick’s Cathedral ] — New York Architecture Images
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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