Occupying an entire city block in the heart of midtown Manhattan lays a sacred institution that has become a fixture in New York’s cultural and geographical landscape. Located opposite the famed Rockefeller Center St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a Neo-Gothic architecture marvel in the heart of the Big Apple’s Fifth Avenue. With a plethora of cameos in Hollywood films such as Spider Man and ABC hit series Ugly Betty; this monumental place of worship has reserved a permanent place in the hearts of New Yorkers as one of its most renowned Roman Catholic cathedrals.
Serving as the seat of the archbishop in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, the church first opened its doors to the faithful, almost 150 years ago in 1879. Designed in breathtaking Gothic Revival architectural style by James Renwick, Jr. the cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in 1858. The captivating stained-glass windows in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel were designed by none other than Paul Vincent Woodroffe, while the church’s famed organ was installed in 1931 after renovations.
Constructed in brick and overlaid with marble the stunning architectural attributes of St. Patrick’s Cathedral include its Rose window which is considered one of Charles Connick‘s best work. The Saint Elizabeth alter is the work of renowned Italian designer Paolo Medici while the Saint Louis and Saint Michael alters were designed by popular New York jewelers Tiffany & Co. The Pietà of the cathedral is said to be three times the size of Michelangelo’s Pietà and is the contribution of reputed sculptor Araldo Perugi, who was an Italian immigrant.
With the capacity to accommodate 2200 guests Patrick’s Cathedral has been the venue of choice for many a requiem mass of high profile personalities. This includes those conducted in tribute of US Senator Robert F. Kennedy and revolutionary artist Andy Warhol and writer William F. Buckley, Jr.
Ranked 11th out of 150 iconic American structures in “America’s Favorite Architecture” poll in recent years, the venue’s “Stations of the Cross” also secured a prize for its mesmerizing artistry at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.
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