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The spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral looking northeast from Fifth Avenue.
The spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.

The cornerstone of the new St. Patrick’s Cathedral was laid in 1858, five years after architect James Renwick was engaged to design the cathedral at a cost of $850,000. The Cathedral was formally opened in 1879. As the heart of the Catholic diocese in New York City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral receives 5.5 million visitors annually.