St. Patrick’s Cathedral

James Renwick Jr. and William Rodrigue

Fifth Avenue, bet. E50 and E51.

1851-79, towers 1888

Gothic Revival



St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in North America. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, and a parish church, located on Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st streets in Manhattan. It faces Rockefeller Center.

The Cathedral of New York's Catholic Archdiocese and seat of its Cardinal, in its early years this elaborate building served, among others, the working class, immigrant Catholic staff who were employed by the city's Episcopalian elite. The Cathedral's Gothic Revival design is based on French models. Somewhat generic in its form, it lacks the quaint flavor of Grace and Trinity Churches and the mysterious grandeur of St. John the Divine. A Lady Chapel, added to the Madison Avenue side of the Cathedral in 1906, is more impressive than the rest of the edifice. When construction began, the Cathedral was located on the outskirts of town in an area of slaughter houses and cattle yards. As construction progressed, the city advanced northwards to the area around St. Patrick's. Nevertheless, the site remained somewhat 'tainted' in the minds of 19th century New Yorkers.

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