Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine

1047 Amsterdam Ave
The world's largest Gothic cathedral, St. John the Divine has been an extraordinary presence in New York since the first cornerstone was laid in 1892. Construction foundered after World War II, and not until the leadership of the Very Rev. James Park... more
The world's largest Gothic cathedral, St. John the Divine has been an extraordinary presence in New York since the first cornerstone was laid in 1892. Construction foundered after World War II, and not until the leadership of the Very Rev. James Parks Morton did building continue in earnest. By building a stone quarry and reviving the art of stone craft, Rev. Morton also emphasized the hiring, training and employing of locals from the neighborhood, and construction proceeded through the 1980s. Now two-thirds complete, it is unclear whether and when building the Cathedral might be finished. However, since the great cathedrals of Europe often took hundreds of years to complete, why rush? Stop in to admire the Cathedral's immense arches, Gustavino dome, the stained glass (some panes with modern themes such as the television in "The Communications Bay"), seven chapels, and tremendous interior length, exceeding that of two football fields.

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Morningside Heights Description

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. New Yorkers have several nicknames for Morningside Heights: the "Academic Acropolis," "Bloomingdale Village," or as the late George Carlin (who grew up here) once cynically put it, "White Harlem." Stretching from West 106th to 125th Streets, Morningside Heights is primarily known as the home of highly revered institutions such as Barnard College, Columbia University, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Manhattan School of Music, St. Luke's Hospital, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and Riverside Church.

The term Morningside came from the park on the eastern edge of the neighborhood, which each morning was the first area to be lit up by the sun and thus called Morningside Park by the residents at the time. Riverside Park, an enormous 266-acre waterfront park maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, was created in 1870s. While obviously overshadowed by New York's Central Park, both of these parks are much beloved by New Yorkers and tourists alike—especially those with an affinity for jogging.

The neighborhood was the stage the Battle of Harlem Heights, a Revolutionary War skirmish that pitted 2,000 Americans against a British division of 5,000 soldiers. At the end of the nineteenth century construction began on both the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and Columbia University's uptown campus, and the neighborhood, previously farmland, became urbanized over the ensuing decades. Generally an affluent neighborhood, many of the beautiful apartment buildings and row houses in Morningside Heights were amongst the first residences to use elevators and were built for New York's prosperous middle class in the first two decades of the twentieth century. During the middle of the century, however, largely due to the increasing numbers of Single Room Occupancy hotels (SROs), the neighborhood experienced socioeconomic troubles and fell for a time into decline, with some residents opting to move to affluent suburbs surrounding New York City. In the meantime, the neighborhood has rebounded and reestablished its former grandeur with the significant help of major investments and real estate acquisitions by Columbia University to the north of its existing campus.

Definitely the most famous restaurant in Morningside Heights is Tom's Restaurant, featured in the song of the same name by Suzanne Vega and perhaps most recognizable as "Monk's Café" in Seinfeld. Havana Central, on Broadway near 114th street, was once a legendary haunt filled with Beat Generation poets and activists, but afteryears of languishing as burger-n-beer joint with jazz, they spicing things up, Cuban-style. Popular college bars in the area are 1020 and the nearby Lion's Head Tavern, where youngsters and oldsters knock back pints and shots and get routinely weirded out by each other's respective ages. There's also the slightly less divey Village Pourhouse and

US Civil War history buffs will be interested to know that Grant's Tomb is located in the Morningside Heights neighborhood, situated in a prominent location in Riverside Park with a gorgeous view of the Hudson River. And to answer the famous question, no one is technically "buried" in Grant's Tomb, as that's not how tombs work: both Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia are entombed there.

Given the fact that the neighborhood here is primarily residential, the closest accommodations you find in the nearby vicinity would be Morningside Inn on West 107th Street, which is housed in a pre war building with the old world charm of that era. The nearby Marrakech Hotel on the Upper West Side at Broadway and 103rd Street offers enticing Moroccan style accommodations in one of Manhattan's quieter residential neighborhoods.

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Info

1047 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10025
(212) 316-7540
Website

Editorial Rating

Admission And Tickets

Entry to the church is free.

Tours
Adults: $6
Students: $5
Senior: $5

This Week's Hours

Mon-Sat: 7:00am-6:00pm
Sunday: 7:00am-7:00pm

Tours
Tue-Sat: 11:00am, 1:00pm
Sunday: 1:00pm

Sunday Services
8:00am - Morning Prayer & Holy Eucharist
9:00am - Holy Eucharist
11:00am - Choral Eucharist
4:00pm - Choral Evensong

Monday–Saturday Services
8:00am - Morning Prayer
8:30am - Holy Eucharist (Tuesday & Thursday)
12:15pm - Holy Eucharist
5:00pm - Evening Prayer

Monthly Services
12:15pm - 4th Saturday - AIDS Memorial Service

Nearby Subway

  • to Cathedral Pky/110th St -- 0.2

@StJohnDivineNYC

Join us on Saturday, January 28 at 4 pm for a Diocesan Chorister Festival Evensong! For more info:
https://t.co/1MWhBU0SZr
https://t.co/1ZNCB7xAXv Fri at 9:56 PM

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday to celebrate Phil, Jim, and Harry as they retire to @AnimalNationNY! 🦚
https://t.co/uGSyBUYW4N January 22

Spreading our wings 🦚 -
https://t.co/vxqkQlgWb6 January 11

Ring in the new year with the Cathedral! -
https://t.co/T71Yt37wzl December 29, 2022

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