After laying it's first cornerstone in 1858, construction on St. Patricks Cathedralin midtown Manhattan lasted decades due mostly to the Civil War. Upon completion in 1879, it dominated over the relatively small structures which surrounded the area at that time, as evidenced by this photo.
Just a short 15 years after St. Patricks Cathedral's dedication, an established photographer by the name of John S. Johnston captured it in all of it's glory, shown here complete with a horse drawn carriage and a few distant pedestrians.
via History Porn
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