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Saint Patrick's Cathedral, New York
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
View of the cathedral from Rockefeller Center (September 2006).
Location: New York City, New York, United States
Coordinates: 40°45′30.96″N 73°58′34.68″W / 40.7586°N 73.9763°W / 40.7586; -73.9763Coordinates: 40°45′30.96″N 73°58′34.68″W / 40.7586°N 73.9763°W / 40.7586; -73.9763
Area: 2 acres (0.81 ha)
Built/Founded: 1858-1878
Architect: James Renwick, Jr.
Architectural style(s): decorated Neo-Gothic
Governing body: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York
Added to NRHP: December 8, 1976[1]
Designated NHL: December 8, 1976[2]
NRHP Reference#: 76001250

Saint Patrick's Cathedral is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style 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. It faces Rockefeller Center.

Contents

History

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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 Roman Catholic men, the New York Literary Institution, to be conducted by the Jesuits. The school closed and was sold to the diocese. In 1814, the diocese gave use of the property 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 thirty-three orphans. With the downfall of Napoleon in that year, the Trappists returned to France, abandoning the property. The property at this point was designated for a future cemetery. The neighboring orphanage was maintained by the diocese into the late 1800s. Some of the Trappists resettled to Canada and eventually founded St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.[3]

Construction of the cathedral

1913 photograph of the cathedral.

The Diocese of New York, created in 1808, was made an archdiocese by Pope Pius IX on July 19, 1850. In 1853, Archbishop John Joseph Hughes announced his intention to erect a new cathedral to replace the Old Saint Patrick's Cathedral in downtown Manhattan.[4]

The new cathedral was designed by James Renwick, Jr. in the Gothic Revival style. On August 15, 1858, the cornerstone was laid, just south of the diocese's orphanage. At that time, present-day midtown Manhattan was 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 rectory were added from 1882 to 1884, and an adjacent school (no longer in existence) opened in 1882. The towers on the west façade 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-glass windows 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 Landmark in 1976.[2][5][6]

Architectural features

Detail of the cathedral's façade (September 2006).
Detail of the cathedral's entrance (October 2007).

Organs

The nave of the cathedral (September 2006).

The original 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, Missouri, firm of George Kilgen & Son, and installed in 1928; it has 3,920 pipes. The grand gallery organ, by the same company, was installed in 1930, and has 5,918 pipes.[7]

The combined organs, totaling 177 stops and 9,838 pipes, can be played from either of two five-manual consoles installed in the early 1990s to replace the original Kilgen consoles.

Burials and funeral masses

The nave of the cathedral decorated for Christmas Eve mass (December 1987).

Located underneath the high altar is a crypt in which notable Catholic figures that served the Archdiocese are entombed. They include:

Eight of the past eleven deceased Archbishops of New York:

Other interments:

Four of the Cardinals' galeros (those of Cardinals McCloskey, Farley, Hayes, and Spellman) are located high above the crypt at the back of the sanctuary. Cardinal Spellman's galero was also worn by Pope Pius XII (as Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli) until the latter's election to the papacy at the 1939 Papal conclave. In 1967, the ceremony of the consistory was revised by Pope Paul VI and therefore no galero was presented to Cardinal Cooke or any of his successors.

Some notable people whose Requiem Masses were said at the cathedral include New York Yankees greats Babe Ruth and Billy Martin; legendary football coach (and Fordham University alumnus) Vince Lombardi; singer Celia Cruz; U.S. Senator from New York Robert F. Kennedy; and New York Giants owner (and Fordham University alumnus) Wellington Mara. Special memorial Masses were held at Saint Patrick's following the deaths of Andy Warhol, Joe DiMaggio, and author William F. Buckley, Jr.

ACT UP protest

In December 1989, approximately 5,000 ACT UP protestors arrived at the cathedral and disrupted mass in a demonstration directed toward the New York archdiocese's public stand against AIDS education and condom distribution in public high schools, as well as its opposition to abortion.[8] A short documentary film about the protest, Stop the Church, was originally scheduled to be shown on the PBS television network. It was eventually dropped from national broadcast by PBS, but still aired on public-television stations in several major cities including New York City, San Francisco, California and Los Angeles, California.[9]

Saint Patrick's in popular culture

View of the cathedral from Rockefeller Center (May 2006).
View of the cathedral from across Fifth Avenue, with Lee Lawrie's bronze statue of Atlas in the right foreground (March 2005).

See also

References

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://www.nr.nps.gov/.  
  2. ^ a b "St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lady Chapel, Rectory and Cardinal's Residence". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. September 18, 2007. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1646&ResourceType=Building.  
  3. ^ Farley, John M. (1908). History of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Society for the Propagation of the Faith.  
  4. ^ St-Patricks's Cathedral Official Site
  5. ^ "St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lady Chapel, Rectory, and Cardinal's Residence". August 1976, by Carolyn Pitts "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination". National Park Service. August 1976. 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.  
  6. ^ St. Patrick's Cathedral, Lady Chapel, Rectory, and Cardinal's Residence--Accompanying 1 photo, exterior of church under construction. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination". National Park Service. August 1976. 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..  
  7. ^ Unknown writer (undated)."Cathedral of Saint Patrick" NYC Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Accessed August 12, 2009.
  8. ^ ACT UP. Untitled and undated article on (1999) ten-year anniversary of the 1989 protest Accessed August 12, 2009.
  9. ^ Steinfels, Peter. (September 13, 1991) "Channel 13 to Show Film on AIDS Protest" The New York Times. Accessed July 4, 2007.
  10. ^ The Smoking Gun: Archive
  11. ^ FavoriteArchitecture.org

External links


Simple English

Saint Patrick's Cathedral is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style 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. It faces Rockefeller Center.


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