Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Discovery the marvel of the interior and exterior of this Cathedral.

Victorian Gothic

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was built in the 1850s in the Historic Mansion district, on Eagle Street in Albany NY. The cathedral is the mother church of the dioceses of Albany, known also as the Bishop’s Church. A Roman Catholic cathedral designed by Irish American Patrick Keely. He designed roughly five hundred churches for the Roman Catholic diocese. He became the lead architect for the Roman Catholic archdiocese following his outstanding work on The Church of Saints Patrick’s Cathedral located on Mott Street in New York City. Within Albany, Keely worked on Saint Joseph’s Church. Keely used a Neo-Gothic architectural style.
John McCloskey set first bishop of Albany the cornerstone in place July 1848. McCloskey envisioned his cathedral to be a replica of the Cathedral of Cologne, which is part of the greats monuments of Gothic architecture in Germany. Bishop McCloskey also saw the need for a sense of place for the new immigrants coming from Ireland first in 1817 when they came to build New York’s Erie Canal system then later in 1840’s when Irish came to escape the Irish potato famine. McCloskey was able to secure building fund pledges, seed money from assembled priest additional gaining funding from other states as well from international catholic communities, in total costing $250,000.
Also know as a Victorian Gothic or Jigsaw Gothic it was part of an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England. The nature of this architecture interweaves with the profound philosophical movement connected with the re-awakening of the Anglo-Catholic beliefs. Characteristics of the Cathedral that make the church stand out is the sixty-two foot vaulted ceiling, its stained glass windows, it’s vibrate colors take over the church when the light hits the windows just right. Some other features that someone will find in the Neo-Gothic style is decorative pattern finials, scalloping lancet windows, hood mounding and label stops. Walking into the church there are numerous status. The Stone fugues are of Our Lord, Peter, Paul and the Evangelists, which can be seen in the small niches over the high altar of the church. The saint of Thomas, Patrick, Bartholomew and Simon can be found located on either side of the transept windows. A striking feature the cathedral has is the dazzling stained glass. The north wing stained glass contains Lady Window, this window made in England. Depicts the principal events in the life of Mary. South wing stained glass contains the Window of the Last Judgments, given by Bishop Burke in 1897.

Street Address:

125 Eagle St, Albany, NY 12202 [map]

Official Website:

Cite this Page:

Shannon M. , “Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception ,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed August 21, 2019,


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