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Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, NYC

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, officially the Cathedral Church of Saint John: The Great Divine in the City and Diocese of New York, is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. It is located in New York City on Amsterdam Avenue between West 110th Street and 113th Street in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood. The cathedral vies with Liverpool Cathedral for the title of the largest Anglican cathedral and church. It is also the fourth largest Christian church in the world. The interior covers 121,000 sq ft (11,200 m2), spanning a length of 183.2 meters (601 ft) and height 70.7 meters (232 ft). The interior height of the nave is 37.8 meters (124 feet).

The cathedral, designed in 1888 and begun in 1892, has undergone radical stylistic changes and the interruption of the two World Wars. Originally designed in the Byzantine Revival-Romanesque Revival styles, the plan was changed after 1909 to a Gothic Revival design. After a large fire on December 18, 2001, it was closed for repairs and reopened in November 2008. It remains unfinished, with construction and restoration a continuing process. As a result, it is often nicknamed St. John the Unfinished.


The building as it appears today conforms primarily to a second design campaign from the prolific Gothic Revival architect Ralph Adams Cramof the Boston firm Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson. Without copying any one historical model, and without compromising its authentic stone-on-stone construction by using modern steel girders, Saint John the Divine is an example of the 13th century High Gothic styleof northern France. The cathedral is 601 feet (186 meters) in length, and the nave ceiling reaches 124 feet (37.7 m) high. It is the longest Gothic nave in the United States, at 230 feet (70 m). At the west end of the nave, installed by stained glass artist Charles Connick and constructed out of 10,000 pieces of glass, is the largest rose window in the U.S. Seven chapels radiating from theambulatory behind the choir are each in a distinctive nationalistic style, some of them borrowing from outside the Gothic vocabulary. These chapels are known as the “Chapels of the Tongues”, and they are devoted to St. Ansgar, patron of Denmark, who is venerated as an apostle to the Scandinavian countries; St. Boniface, apostle of the Germans; St. Columba, patron of Ireland and Scotland; St. Savior (Holy Savior), devoted to immigrants from the east, especially Africa and Asia; St. Martin of Tours, patron of the French; St. Ambrose, patron of Italy; and St. James, patron of Spain. The designs of the chapels are meant to represent each of the seven most prominent ethnic groups to first immigrate to New York City upon the opening of Ellis Island in 1892, the same year the cathedral was begun.

In the center, just beyond the crossing, is the large, raised high altar, behind which is a wrought iron enclosure containing the Gothic style tomb of the man who originally conceived and founded the cathedral, the Right Reverend Horatio Potter, Bishop of New York. Later Episcopal bishops of New York, and other notables of the church, are entombed in side chapels. Directly below this is a large hall in the basement, used regularly to feed the poor and homeless, and for meetings, and multiple crypts. On the grounds of the cathedral, toward the south, are several buildings (including a synod hall and the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine), and a Biblical garden, as well as a large bronze work of public art by the cathedral’s sculptor-in-residence, Greg Wyatt, known as the Peace Fountain, which has been both strongly praised and strongly criticized.

Contact Details
1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street
New York, NY 10025
(212) 316-7540

Opening Times
The Cathedral is open 7:30 am – 6 pm daily. The Visitor Center and Cathedral Shop are open 9 am – 5 pm daily.

The Cathedral’s gardens and grounds are open during daylight hours.

For additional information, please call Cathedral Reception at (212) 316-7490 during business hours or call the Visitor Center at (212) 316-7540.

Official Website – www.stjohndivine.org

Schedule of Daily Liturgical Services

8 am – Morning Prayer & Holy Eucharist
9 am – Holy Eucharist
11 am – Choral Eucharist
4 pm – Choral Evensong

Monday through Saturday
8 am – Morning Prayer
8:30 am – Holy Eucharist
(Tuesday & Thursday only)
12:15 pm – Holy Eucharist
5 pm – Evening Prayer

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