St. Patrick’s is the crown jewel of Catholicism in the United States. Freshly restored due to Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, there’s never been a better time to go in and have a look around.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is an outstanding example of the American Gothic Revival style, designed by the distinguished New York architect, James Renwick, Jr. The foundation stone was laid in 1858 and construction began the following year. The cathedral opened in 1879.
Until Rockefeller Center was completed in 1939, the cathedral’s 300 foot tall spires dominated the midtown skyline. This building is actually “new” St. Patrick’s Cathedral – as it is a replacement for the still-operating “Old St. Patrick’s” in lower Manhattan.
The Statue of St. Patrick welcomes you to his namesake cathedral.
Dad admires the Altar of Saint Michael and Saint Louis, which was designed by Tiffany & Co.
William Ordway Partridge’s Pieta – which is three times larger than Michelangelo’s, for what it’s worth. Michelangelo’s Pieta is on permanent display in St. Peter’s in Vatican City. That Pieta has actually been to New York once – for the Vatican pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair.
Sadly, our visit to the cathedral came after sunset. Which means the lovely stained glass becomes a nice shade of black. I would suggest visiting cathedrals like these, if at all possible, during the day so you can enjoy the artistry of the windows. Seeing two cathedrals in one day (the other being the amazing Cathedral of St. John the Divine), our schedule just didn’t allow for it.
One benefit of an evening visit is that the church is much less crowded. Depending on your comfort level with crowds, night time might be the right time.