St. Patrick's Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of New York, Edward M. Egan. It is the largest decorated gothic-style
Catholic Cathedral in the United States and has been recognized throughout its history as a center of Catholic life in this country.
The Cathedral was begun in 1858 by Archbishop John Hughes to replace the original St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is used today as a parish church in New York.
Both interior and exterior were completely restored to their original beauty during the years when Cardinal Cooke was Archbishop.
New shrines in honor of the American saints were brought to the Cathedral during the same years. During the years of John Cardinal
O'Connor's episcopate, extensive renovations have been made to maintain the structural integrity of the building, including replacement
of much of the roof, exterior steps, replastering of the walls in the transepts, repair of stained glass and refinishing the transept doors.
A liturgical altar has been placed in the sanctuary and the baptistry has been relocated. A new amplification system and modern lighting were
installed in 1988 and 1989, and a bas-relief sculpture dedicated to Saint Frances Cabrini was mounted on the Cathedral wall shortly before Christmas in 1989.
Some Facts About St. Patrick's Cathedral
The Cathedral seats about 2,200 people.
The exterior length is about 405 feet; the width is 274 feet.
The spires rise 330 feet from street level.
The architect was James Renwick, an American.
The Lady Chapel was designed by another American, Charles Mathews.
The St. Michael and St. Louis altar was designed by Tiffany and Company.
The St. Elizabeth altar was designed by Paolo Medici of Rome.
The Archbishops of New York are buried in a crypt under the high altar. Their honorary hats, called galeros, hang from the ceiling over their tombs.
The Stations of the Cross are works of art which won first prize at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.
The Pieta is three times larger than the Pieta in St. Peter's, Rome.
The Cathedral has three organs.
The baldachin over the main altar is solid bronze.
Each year over 3 million people visit St. Patrick's Cathedral