Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany

#4 of 8 in Historic Sites in Albany
Church · Hidden Gem · Architectural Building
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic church near the Mansion District in Albany, New York, United States. Built in the period of the 1848-1852, it is the mother church of the Diocese of Albany. In 1976 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It has several claims to architectural and ecclesiastical history. Designed by Irish American architect Patrick Keely to accommodate Albany's growing population of Catholic immigrants, it is the second-oldest cathedral in the state, after St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. It is also the third oldest Catholic cathedral in the United States, and the first American Catholic cathedral in the Neo-Gothic architectural style.
The interior features the original stained glass windows, imported from England, and award-winning Stations of the Cross statuary. When completed, it was the tallest building in Albany. It has hosted visits by cardinals and leaders of other faiths, including one Archbishop of Canterbury, and the weddings of two Catholic governors' daughters. In 1986 it hosted the first-ever service of forgiveness between Catholics and Jews on Palm Sunday, an event commemorated by a sculpture outside the building.

Construction of the cathedral, at the behest of the diocese's first bishop, John McCloskey, took four years. Its south tower took 40, and it was not consecrated until its 50th anniversary in 1902. The construction of Empire State Plaza, the nearby New York state government complex, threatened the cathedral in the 1960s when it required the demolition of most of the surrounding neighborhood. It has been through several renovations in its history, including a $30 million restoration early in the 21st century.

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  • Gorgeous cathedral in the capital of New York. I’m obsessed with cathedrals, and I knew I needed to visit this gem. I’m so glad I made the time to, because it did not disappoint!  more »
  • When we arrived at the cathedral we thought it looked closed but on going round the front the door was open. It was empty so we had it to ourselves. It is a beautiful, spiritual place. The stations...  more »
  • Great worship place. The head priest have a gifted tongue, he make the bible come to life when he reads the gospel and delivers homily. A must go to place, very historic and great architectural arches
  • Beautiful place from inside and outside! It's free and you can take your time. When there's no session parking it's free and very central from other sightseens. I recommend to go to the museum next to the church first, because it closes at 5 and it's worth it!

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