The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Lilly on July 9, 2000

Not far from the Columbia University campus, The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is an architectural wonder. This site answers the scavenger hunt question: If the Statue of Liberty needed shelter, where would she fit? She’d fit comfortably under the central dome of St. John the Divine, which happens to be the largest Cathedral in the world. In 1888, Messrs. Heins and LaFarge won an international competition for their Byzantine-Romanesque design. The cornerstone was laid on December 27, 1892, St. John’s Day. There are approximately 150 stained glass windows in this cathedral including the rose window in the West Façade, which has more than 10,000 pieces of glass. Other magnificent details include the eight granite columns in the sanctuary; each column weighs about 130 tons. The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine has received gifts over the years, which are on display throughout the building. Adolph Ochs, the Founder of the New York Times, donated twin Menorahs to the Cathedral. Each Menorah stands 12 feet tall. There are Barberini Tapestries on display in the Cathedral as well. These 17th century tapestries were woven on the Papal Looms during the first half of the 17th century. The Cathedral has been an integral part of the lives of many famous New Yorkers. The legendary jazz composer, Duke Ellington, enjoyed the Cathedral’s impressive acoustics and held many concerts in the Cathedral. His funeral was held there in 1974. Until recently, Duke Ellington’s white Steinway Grand piano had been on display in St. Ansgar’s Chapel. (The piano is on loan to the Smithsonian until March 2001.) Public tours are given on Tuesday through Saturdays at 11 am and on Sunday at 1 pm.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amersterdam Ave.
New York, New York, 10025
(212) 316-7540

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