As mass immigration flooded New York towards the turn of the 20th century, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine was started in 1892 in Harlem with the idea that it would become a house of prayer for all nations. The consequent construction of the church was halted by two World Wars, numerous design alterations and more recently a large fire that closed the building for several years. Despite the small fact that the building officially remains unfinished more than a century from when it was started, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine remains one of New York’s finest religious structures, and is rank #4 of our Top 5 New York City Churches, just before the Wall Street Trinity Church.
Despite the numerous bumps in the road for the structure, today’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine reflects 100 years of intricate stonework, elaborate stained glass production and remarkable community involvement. The numerous plan changes reflect a unique gathering of differing architectural styles. The nave is classically Gothic but chapels are in styles from around Europe. The Cathedral is truly one of New York’s more impressive structures. The nave is two football fields in length, with seven chapels representing the seven most prominent ethnic groups to emigrate to New York at the turn of the century. With scaffolding removed within the last five years and soot from the fires of 2001 fully cleaned, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine now stands beautifully as a symbol of fortitude and New York’s immigrant past, present and future. The Cathedral is a steps to northern Central Park to the South and the vibrant Harlem community to the north.
New York Habitat’s accommodations fill quickly during the summer and spring season, visitors looking to stay on Manhattan’s Upper West Side accommodations or in a Harlem vacation rental during their stay should get their search started soon. Below are a few choice apartments to get your search going:
- This 1-bedroom apartment rental in Upper West Side of New York City (NY-14456), just steps from the big cathedral.
- This classic New York studio apartment in Upper West Side (NY-12814).
We hope you liked this article about the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Next week, we will focus on Riverside Church, the #3 of our Top 5 New York City Churches! Meanwhile, we are curious to know what is your favorite part of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Please tell us in the comments section below.
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