Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 15, 1858: The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was laid

The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest decorated Neo-Gothic-style Catholic cathedral in North America, was laid on August 15. 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. At the time of the construction, present-day midtown Manhattan was far north of the populous areas of New York City. During the Civil War, the construction of the cathedral was stopped and resumed in 1865. 20 years later, in 1878 the construction of the cathedral was completed and it was dedicated on May 25, 1879. The towers were added in 1888.

St. Patrick`s Cathedral is one of the masterpieces of famed 19h century architect James Renwick. The building, which is built of white or tan marble from New York and Massachusetts can accomodate 2.200 people and contains alters designed by the Tiffany Company. It is 332ft long and the spires rise 330 feet from street level. The cathedral ranked 11th out of 150 buildings in the recent list of America's Favorite Architecture.

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