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- (Refinish) The process of applying a completely new finish to a wooden or metal wood. The refinish involves removing the old finish prior to applying the new finish.
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- The lower surface of a room, on which one may walk
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- All the rooms or areas on the same level of a building; a story
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St. Patrick's Cathedral
While her cornerstone was laid in 1858 and her doors swept open in 1879, it was over 150 years ago, when Archbishop John Hughes announced his inspired ambition to build the “new” Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
In a ceremony at Old Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Archbishop Hughes proposed “for the glory of Almighty God, for the honor of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, for the exaltation of Holy Mother Church, for the dignity of our ancient and glorious Catholic name, to erect a Cathedral in the City of New York that may be worthy of our increasing numbers, intelligence, and wealth as a religious community, and at all events, worthy as a public architectural monument, of the present and prospective crowns of this metropolis of the American continent.”
Ridiculed as “Hughes’ Folly,” as the proposed, near-wilderness site was considered too far outside the city, Archbishop Hughes, nonetheless, persisted in his daring vision of building the most beautiful, Gothic Cathedral in the New World in what he believed would one day be “the heart of the city.” Neither the bloodshed of the Civil War, nor the resultant lack of manpower or funds, would derail the ultimate fulfillment of Hughes’ dream and Architect, James Renwick’s bold plan.
Through the generosity of 103 citizens who pledged $1,000 each and the collective “pennies” of thousands of largely Irish, immigrant poor, Hughes’ vision became a shining reality.
The Great Cathedral Fair, 1878
After several weeks of fund raising efforts through The Great Cathedral Fair in October and November of 1878, his successor and the first American cardinal, John Cardinal McCloskey presided over the dedication of the Cathedral on May 25, 1879.
Each generation has added to her splendor. Her spires were completed in 1888 and The Lady Chapel in 1906. Her Kilgen Organs were installed in 1929. Major capital campaigns were conducted in the 1940’s and the 1970’s under Cardinals Spellman and Cooke, respectively. The Kilgen Organs were restored in the mid 1990s, and the gem of the Cathedral, the Lady Chapel was restored in 2003. Recent restorations have included the Main Altar, the chapels of Saints Anthony, Elizabeth, Jean Baptiste de la Salle, Louis and Michael and the Sacristy. Construction is underway on a new shrine to honor Our Lady of Czestochowa and will include paintings and statuary of Saints Casimir, Faustina, Jadwiga, Maximilian Kolbe and Stanislaus Kostka. Also in 2005, the chapels of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Saint Andrew will be restored.
Now, as then, the Cathedral remains a gift from one generation to the next. And today, through The Friends of Saint Patrick’s, memorial gifts, The Legacy Society, The Cathedral Preservation Fund, special events, spiritual enrollments and general support, we are renewing our efforts to preserve this masterpiece for the glory of God and the service of humanity.
As Brendan Gill wrote in his introduction to St. Patrick’s Cathedral: A Centennial History, “In the Old World, for well over a thousand years the center of a city was thought to be wherever its Cathedral stood… We are a city that, even within its comparatively narrow confines, has always tended to spin apart. To speak only of Manhattan (the original New York City of Hughes’ day), we have Wall Street and Greenwich Village and Chinatown and Chelsea and Times Square and the Upper East Side and Riverside Drive and Harlem and Washington Heights and scores of other districts and neighborhoods; yet we have few places that convey an authentic sense of being at the very heart of things. St. Patrick’s is such a place. Aided by the graceful presence of its neighbor, Rockefeller Center …, the Cathedral dominates Fifth Avenue as easily today as it has ever done… Thanks to the program of preservation carried out under the watchful eye…, the building has never looked more beautiful. There it stands for our delight and, if necessary, for our consolation. Its front steps are a parvis, if not a Paradise, and young and old take the sun upon their faces there as a sort of benediction, while the scattered benedictions of a thousand rosy candles wink and twinkle within.”
Herein, we are pleased to share photos depicting the evolution of the Cathedral and the city which rose up around it, all testament to generations of faithful patrons, craftsmen, laborers and leadership; and, of course, to “Dagger” John Hughes, one of the most visionary and colorful characters in American Catholic history.
We honor Archbishop Hughes’ amazing foresight, courage and persistence. We pray that our vision and efforts may be ever worthy of his original inspiration. And we humbly pray that our extended community may continue to dream great dreams and utilize this splendid Cathedral of Saint Patrick, through your generosity, in ways old and new for the glory of God.
1785 – In New York City there were only two hundred Catholics and one priest. The predecessor church of the Ca
In my old NYC apartment, which will be up for sale as of November. (Anyone got the $$?) Michael's in grad school now at Harvard. We're ok friends but not really in touch so much anymore. Viva (in background) is now living with some very nice friends of mine, Tony and Ben.
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