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Distant View of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Saint John, New BrunswickObject number: X11118
Gallery: Public Spaces
Object Name: photograph
Title: Distant View of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Saint John, New Brunswick
Artist: Woodburn & McClure
Date: 1869-1875
Medium: albumen print carte-de-visite
Dimensions: overall: 6.2 x 10.1 cm
Credit Line: New Brunswick Museum Collection
Notes: The large Irish Catholic population in Saint John required a place of worship as only one-third of them could be accommodated in St. Malachy’s chapel on Sydney Street. Bishop Thomas Connolly arrived in Saint John on September 11, 1852 and believed the city was in need of a Catholic cathedral and embarked on a ‘collection tour’ to raise money. He even traveled to Europe where he got a donation from the Pope himself. Land was acquired on Waterloo Street, purchased from R.F. Hazen. The architect was Charles Anderson of New York and William Smith was the general contractor. The style of the Cathedral was English Gothic. Much of the work on the church was done by volunteer labour with as many as 400 men at work at times. The stone used in construction was native sandstone and limestone. The main part of the church was completed in 1855 and the first mass said on Christmas Eve that same year. A Rococo chapel and vestry were added between 1862 and 1865 and were designed by Patrick Keiley, a well-known Irish-American church architect. The spire was added in 1871, designed by a Saint John architect, G.F. Fairweather. The stained-glass windows were from Europe and donated to the church by various parishioners in memory of loved ones.

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