Cathedral of All Saints - Albany, NY




Hudson Reality Capture is working to provide one of America's most significant Episcopalian cathedrals, the Cathedral of All Saints, with a comprehensive capture of this architectural treasure. In addition to a 3D Virtual Tour, we have produced Plans and 3D Models for architects to complete this sublime 1884 structure.

Albany Times Union Feature

Feb 2 2019

Here are some interesting facts about the Cathedral, gathered from a 2003 architectural history by John G. Waite and Robert A. Petito Jr. and other sources.

- At 320 feet in length and 130 feet at the transepts, it is the first 
large scale Episcopal church built to serve as a cathedral and the fifth largest traditional church in America (29th largest in the world).

- Designed and built in the late 19th century, the Cathedral is in the high Gothic style on the same scale and with the same traditional construction methods and materials used in medieval European cathedrals of the 11th and 12th centuries. Its design eschewed the use of iron and steel which was then coming into extensive use at the time.

- Twenty-nine year old British architect Robert Wilson Gibson, newly arrived in America, won an international competition to design the cathedral. Gibson was a graduate of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

- The seating is not fixed, which is in keeping with the tradition of 
Middle Ages cathedrals that also served as town halls and markets. While the cathedral normally seats 1,000, it can accommodate more than twice as many people for special events.

- The cornerstone of All Saints was laid in an elaborate ceremony on June 3, 1884, attended by many of Albany and New York state’s most influential citizens, including J. P. Morgan,  Leland Stanford, Grover Cleveland (who would become the 22nd U.S President the following year) and Theodore Roosevelt (who would also become U.S. President 17 years after the ceremony in 1901).

- All Saints retains one of the finest collections of British designed 
Clayton and Bell windows, since much of their work was lost during the bombing of London during the Second World War. 

- African American families were part of the congregation since its 
founding and the bishop preached against segregation. 

- The bishop also refused the common practice of renting pews, which would have allowed the wealthy to buy a place to sit with the best view of their church's glories. Instead, at All Saints, poor, rich, black and white sat together.

- Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (later 32nd U.S. President) and Eleanor Roosevelt were “Cathedralites”

- The church was unable to complete the cathedral and the large planned complex in the early 20th century. Because the commissioner of the State Education Department had his headquarters built on the remainder of the block, the remainder of the cathedral will never be completed. Some foundations for planned expansions remain, including spires.

V Owen BushAEC, HistoricComment