- READER REVIEWS
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Nearby Subway Stops
1 at Cathedral Pkwy./110th St.
- Nearby Parking Lots
- Street Parking
$5 suggested donation
Though many may know that this striking religious landmark is the largest cathedral in the world, few realize it is still not finished. Complete or not, the granite and limestone structure is a gorgeous patchwork of Romanesque and French Gothic styles. The exterior, as a result, looks like the lovechild of midtown's St. Patrick's and Paris's Notre Dame, with intricately carved biblical figures flanking the massive bronze doors instead of gargoyles. The tall, pointed Byzantine-inspired arches are the most striking feature of the interior, so vast it can comfortably fit 4,500 bodies during services. Tour guides love to point out that the cathedral stretches the length of two football fields, while the height of the domed crossing can accommodate Lady Liberty (without her platform). The first stone of the "house of prayer for all people" was laid in 1892, and construction continued steadily until 1941, when the attack on Pearl Harbor stalled progress for nearly 40 years. A fire in December 2001 presented yet another setback, with crews only recently completing seven years of cleaning smoke damage. Even though the towers, transepts, great crossing, and choir roof have yet to be completed there are still many architectural and artistic gems to behold, like the Great Rose window, fashioned with more than 10,000 pieces of glass; the Guastavino-tile dome of the crossing; the seven chapels, each built in a different nationalistic style; and the nave's fourteen themed bays honoring professions and human endeavor, each with corresponding stained-glass windows. The active Episcopal congregation is known for its outreach work with children and seniors. Highlights during the year range from the blessing of the animals during the feast of St. Francis to the New York Philharmonic Memorial Day concert and the New Year's Eve Concert for Peace. Keep in mind that a visit will include limited access to certain parts as work continues. When it will be finished remains one of New York City's eternal questions.Late Haring
The Keith Haring silver triptych in the chapel of St. Saviour was the artist's last sculptural piece before his death in 1990.
The Aeolian Skinner Organ
The Cathedral's world-famous eight-second reverb is now back commission, fully restored after a fire damaged the Great Organ's pipes. Visitors can thoroughly inspect the immense instrument—the innermost workings, especially the Bombard and Swell sections, are fascinating. Demonstrations are held Mondays at 1 p.m.
American Poets' Corner
Tucked into the Cathedral's art bay is a section of wall immortalizing American poets and novelists, with inspirational (and sometimes morbid) one-liners from the likes of Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, and Elizabeth Bishop.
Tue.—Sat., 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m.; select Sundays at 2 p.m. $6 adults; $5 students and seniors
Sat., noon and 2 p.m. $15 adults; $12 students and seniors