St. Patrick's Cathedral of Fifth Avenue Manhattan is a magnificent, awe-inspiring Neo-Gothic construction built by the faithful, aspiring, and persevering community of 19th century New York.
The original St. Patrick's Cathedral, in downtown Manhattan, had grown too old and small to accommodate the growing Catholic faith after the city was made an archdiocese in 1850. Archbishop John Joseph Hughes commissioned a new cathedral to represent the power and glory of God, and it would be designed by architect James Renwick, Jr., remembered as one of the most successful architects of his time. The cornerstone was laid in 1858 though the construction halted due to the Civil War and did not resume until 1865. Finally, the house of worship was finished 1878. Several additions have been made over the years including the archbishop's house and rectory, the spires, and Lady's Chapel, and many portions have undergone renovations over the years.
St. Patrick's was built in a part of midtown Manhattan that was previously sparsely populated. Today it's in a prime location along Fifth Avenue, a beautiful and elegant Old World reminder of the timelessness of faith and the enduring continuity of the Church. St. Patrick's is a stunning church filled with history, art, music, and architecture, all of which combine to elevate the human contribution to this most holy of places.
The cathedral offers guided and walk-in tours Monday through Friday. There are downloadable audio tour guides available as well as a Cathedral Tour App. If you are able and willing to stay for Mass, the cathedral and celebrants will welcome you with open arms every day of the week. Also, there is a St. Patrick's Cathedral Gift Shop to explore after your tour where you can pick up religious gifts, books, prayer cards and rosaries, and more. All proceeds from the tours and downloads go to church restoration projects.