Exploring the progress at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on the 14th anniversary of the death of Cardinal John O’Connor

Remembering Cardinal John Joseph O’Connor (1920-2000) who died on this date 14 years ago (Photo: Patti Murphy Dohn)

New York City:

Theatre tickets to a new Broadway show on Saturday meant that we made an early start to spend a beautiful, sunny day in the Big Apple.

Springtime in NYC

St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

After grabbing some coffee at Caffe Bene, we walked through Times Square and along 50th Street past Radio City Music Hall, NBC studios, and Rockefeller Plaza. People were everywhere enjoying the outdoor city scenes. It was truly a beautiful Spring day.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral coming into view

When we came into sight of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we were surprised to see that the scaffolding was still in place around the perimeter of this seat of the Archdiocese of New York.

Inviting banners outside the cathedral

Be a Cathedral Builder:

Located on Fifth Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets and said to be the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States with seating for 2400, this neo-Gothic structure which opened in 1879. It has been undergoing a $175 million interior and exterior rehabilitation as announced by Cardinal Timothy Dolan on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012. His predecessor and now-Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Edward M. Egan, started making plans for this renovation when he served as Archbishop of New York (2000-2009).

Information on the renovation project

Watch the announcement and explanation of the renovation project by Cardinal Dolan for the cathedral feast day in 2012. In attendance next to Cardinal Dolan is Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore Cardinal Edwin O’Brien. 


Entering the main sanctuary to find drapes and scaffolding everywhere

The side aisle and chapel area had blocked views of the altar

The cathedra came into view as I got closer to the main sanctuary under the beams of the multi-leveled scaffolding

A glimpse of the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Obstructed views at the front of the cathedral

People gathering for the 12 noon Mass

The Bronze Doors:

The beautiful center doors were recently unveiled by Cardinal Timothy Dolan after a three-month $500,000 restoration.

Weighing in at 9200 pounds each, the doors have elaborate carvings:

On top: Jesus, the twelve apostles, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. John the Baptist. 

On the doors: From upper left and going clockwise:

1. Saint Joseph, Patron of the Church;

2. Saint Patrick, Patron of this Church;

3. St. Frances X. Cabrini, Mother of the Immigrant;

4. Mother Elizabeth Seton, Daughter of New York (Now a saint);

5. Ven. Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks (Now a saint);

6. St. Isaac Jogues, First Priest in New York.

Outdoor view of the newly-restored and enhanced Bronze Doors

Enjoy this video as Cardinal Dolan unveils the newly-refurbished Bronze Doors

Cleaning, repairs, and renovations:

So much progress has been made at St. Patrick’s since this major project started.

When the drapes and scaffolding are removed upon completion, the cathedral will look glorious.

Watch this amazing time lapse video and see examples of the exciting progress made so far

I cannot wait to visit when the cathedral project is finished and restored to its full glory!!

Want to help restore this historic cathedral?

Read more here on ways you too can be a cathedral builder.


Recent news:

As I studied about the restoration progress, I discovered that just last week, Structure Tone, the construction company for the cathedral renovations and other Manhattan projects, was recently found guilty of inflating their invoices and overcharging their clients, and agree to forfeit $55 million in a plea deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.