The magnificent Renaissance Revival-styled Seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg is the second to rise from this prominent State Street property. Completed in 1907, Saint Patrick's Cathedral replaced its more modest predecessor, which was erected in 1827 and enlarged and remodeled over the years. By 1868, the growth of the Roman Catholic population in Central Pennsylvania, particularly spurred by the influx of the Irish who worked on the canal system, resulted in the papacy decreeing the establishment of the Diocese of Harrisburg, carved from that of Philadelphia, which would serve fifteen counties in the central portion of the Commonwealth. Saint Patrick's was established as the new diocese's pro-cathedral. With the turn of the 20th century, and the construction of the new Capitol Building, old Saint Patrick's was replaced by this impressive and largest church building in Harrisburg, emulating in style the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome. The impressive dome,, which accessorily complements that of the State Capitol Building to the east on the street, rests upon the Cathedral's vast sanctuary featuring beautiful stained glass windows from Munich, Germany and marble columns and arches of the classical revival. The Cathedral's grand pipe organ enhances the grandeur of its overall interior space.
Present Saint Patrick's Cathedral in 1910.
Old Saint Patrick's Cathedral (right center) looking west toward the Obelisk in 1893.
Interior of the present Saint Patrick's Cathedral in 1914.