ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL. is the largest and most beautiful church edifice in America, and holds high rank as an example of decorated and geometric style of Gothic architecture to which belong the cathedrals of Rheims, Amiens and Cologne, on the Continent; and the naves of York, Westminster and Exeter in England.
The architect of St Patrick´s Cathedral was James Renwick, who designed the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. The corner-stone was laid August 15, 1858, and the edifice was dedicated May 25, 1879. The material above the granite base course is white marble.
The seating capacity of the pews is 2,500. The exterior length is .332 feet, breadth 174 feet, height of spires 330 feet. Of the seventy winnows, thirty-seven are figured, their subjects drawn from Scripture and the lives of the saints; and twenty more are filled with cathedral stained glass. The principal one of the figured series is the six-bayed window of St. Patrick.
The HIGH ALTAR of St Patrick´s Cathedral at the east end of the central aisle, has. a reredos 33 feet in width and 5'; feet in height, cf carved Poitiers stone; in the center tower of the reredos is a statue of Christ, and in the flanking towers are statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. The altar is of purest Italian marble inlaid with alabaster and precious marbles. The front is divided into panels representing in bas-reliefs the Last Supper, the Carrying of the Cross, the Agony in the Garden; and niches contain statues of the Four Evangelists.
The altar tabernacle is of marble richly decorated, and has a door of gilt bronze set with emeralds and garnets. The high altar was a gift from Cardinal McCioskey, who, dying in 1885, was entombed beneath it; and here also lies Archbishop Hughes. Under the floor of the sanctuary near the high altar is a crypt for the entombing of the Archbishops of New York. The Cathedral is open during the day.
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