Saint Patrick's Cathedral
The driving force behind the construction of St. Patrick’s was Archbishop John Hughes. In 1853 he announced plans to erect a cathedral to accommodate the increasing numbers of Catholics attending church. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was started in 1858 to replace the Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Manhattan. After delays caused by the Civil War and lack of funds, it was completed in 1879. Considered too far outside the city in a near-wilderness site, some considered the construction a folly. James Renwick, Jr. designed the cathedral in a Gothic Revival style. It accommodates 2,200 people and is 332 feet long, 174 feet wide at the transepts and the spires rise 330 feet from street level.
The windows were made by artists in Chartres, France, Birmingham, England, and Boston. Tiffany & Co. designed the Saint Michael and Saint Louis alters. Requiem masses were said at the cathedral for Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Billy Martin, Vince Lombardi, Robert F. Kennedy, New York Giants owner Wellington Mara, and former New York Governor Hugh Carey. Special memorial masses were held for Andy Warhol, Joe DiMaggio, and William F. Buckley, Jr. For more detail on the church's history, see the church website or Wikipedia.
Saint Patrick’s is a tourist favorite and can be crowded. I show up early to avoid the crowds, usually after the 7:30 a.m. mass. At that time, the security guards can outnumber the visitors. Tripods are not allowed at Saint Patrick, but in the 4-5 times I have been to the church, I haven’t had any problems using a Joby GorrillaPod (however on one visit a security guard did tell me to take off my Yankee hat). A GorrillaPod is much smaller than a conventional tripod, about 12 inches tall. I used the GorrillaPod on the floor for center isle shots and on the pews for photos of the side windows. Here is an example of a center isle shot with the GorrillaPod. Exposure times ranged from 1.6 seconds to 25 seconds at f5.6, 100 ISO with a 10-22mm zoom lens at the equivalent of 16 mm. I used HDR to combine the exposures (+2, 0,-2) and stitched together two exposures, an upper half and lower half, to capture this expansive view.
churchcathedralphotostained glassSaint Patrick's CathedralSt Patrick'sKent Beckernot my day job photographyNew YorkCatholic