On this brisk Friday afternoon, our small group (comprised of Pratt Art History and Architecture students) took the Cathedral’s Vertical Tour.  After a brief introduction and history of the cathedral’s two architectural styles (Romanesque and Gothic), our guide distributed flashlights to each of us, and we climbed 124 feet up a narrow spiraling stone staircase onto the roof of this world’s largest cathedral.  We stopped on several intermediary levels – the triforium, clerestory, and “attic” between the ribbed stone vaults and actual roof – with exclusive close-viewings of the numerous hand-carved details and themed stained-glass windows executed in differing styles.  Unbeknownst to the exterior passerby, the lighting that day was perfect, with the sun shining through the stained glass windows to project colorful variations on the walls of the cathedral’s interior.  After our tour, we walked along the nave and around behind the altar to explore the mixed stonework and individual niches with their devotional panel paintings.  All in all, the experience was a welcome respite from our usual hectic city-student life.

Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Morningside Heights, Manhattan
Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, Morningside Heights, Manhattan
On the roof of Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
HASDA memebers on the roof of Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine