Saint Patrick's Cathedral



The Cathedral of St. Patrick (commonly called St. Patrick's Cathedral) is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral church in the United States. It is the seat of the archbishop of 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, New York City, New York, directly across the street from Rockefeller Center.

While her cornerstone was laid in 1858 and her doors swept open in 1879, it was over 150 years ago, when Archbishop John Hughes announced his inspired ambition to build the “new” Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.

In a ceremony at Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Archbishop Hughes proposed “for the glory of Almighty God, for the honor of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, for the exaltation of Holy Mother Church, for the dignity of our ancient and glorious Catholic name, to erect a Cathedral in the City of New York that may be worthy of our increasing numbers, intelligence, and wealth as a religious community, and at all events, worthy as a public architectural monument, of the present and prospective crowns of this metropolis of the American continent.”

Ridiculed as “Hughes’ Folly,” as the proposed, near-wilderness site was considered too far outside the city, Archbishop Hughes, nonetheless, persisted in his daring vision of building the most beautiful, Gothic Cathedral in the New World in what he believed would one day be “the heart of the city.” Neither the bloodshed of the Civil War, nor the resultant lack of manpower or funds, would derail the ultimate fulfillment of Hughes’ dream and Architect, James Renwick’s bold plan.

Through the generosity of 103 citizens who pledged $1,000 each and the collective “pennies” of thousands of largely Irish, immigrant poor, Hughes’ vision became a shining reality.

After several weeks of fund raising efforts through The Great Cathedral Fair in October and November of 1878, his successor and the first American cardinal, John Cardinal McCloskey presided over the dedication of the Cathedral on May 25, 1879.

Each generation has added to her splendor. Her spires were completed in 1888 and The Lady Chapel in 1906. Her Kilgen Organs were installed in 1929. Major capital campaigns were conducted in the 1940’s and the 1970’s under Cardinals Spellman and Cooke, respectively. The Kilgen Organs were restored in the mid 1990s, and the gem of the Cathedral, the Lady Chapel was restored in 2003. Recent restorations have included the Main Altar, the chapels of Saints Anthony, Elizabeth, Jean Baptiste de la Salle, Louis and Michael and the Sacristy. Construction is underway on a new shrine to honor Our Lady of Czestochowa and will include paintings and statuary of Saints Casimir, Faustina, Jadwiga, Maximilian Kolbe and Stanislaus Kostka. Also in 2005, the chapels of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint Andrew will be restored.

Now, as then, the Cathedral remains a gift from one generation to the next. And today, through The Friends of Saint Patrick’s, memorial gifts, The Legacy Society, The Cathedral Preservation Fund, special events, spiritual enrollments and general support, we are renewing our efforts to preserve this masterpiece for the glory of God and the service of humanity.

Contact info:
14 E 51st St
New York, 10022