WEEKEND EDITION

Louise Mirrer: Pilgrimage to Manhattan’s Holy Sites

July 10, 2011 6:00 PM

A spire atop the Central Synagogue, a Moorish-style building in Midtown Flickr/Andifeelfine.

Who can even imagine a time when clusters of low-rise buildings hugged our city’s horizon? My favorites among the taller yet still historic buildings are three houses of worship: the Moorish-style Central Synagogue on 55th and Lexington designed by an early Jewish architect; the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights — FDR’s “shrine of worship for all people;” and St. Patrick’s Cathedral at Fifth Avenue and 50th Street, completed with the collective “pennies” of thousands of poor Irish immigrants.

Louise Mirrer joined the New-York Historical Society as president and CEO in June 2004. Mirrer is leading the Society’s campaign for a major renovation of its landmark building on Central Park West.

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