Slainte! A Toast to New York's Most Influential Irishmen
The streets of New York are paved with fascinating history. As one of the oldest cities in the United States, it's easy to see how New York has become an epicenter of cultural diversity. With generations of immigrants settling in the city to create vibrant communities, today's New York is a living celebration of that history - and St. Patrick's Day is no exception. Every year on St. Patrick's Day, thousands of visitors and residents gather to honor Irish history and the Irish men and women who helped shape New York.
Though the traditional St. Patrick's Day itinerary often includes a trip to the parade and neighboring pubs, we've compiled an alternate plan for those looking to put a unique spin on this special day. Explore New York's Irish history with a walking tour of monuments and places dedicated to its most influential characters, some of which are located in WestHouse's dynamic Midtown neighborhood.
Here are the important stops we suggest checking out during your St. Patrick's themed walking tour:
The Empire State Building
If it's your first time visiting New York, chances are a trip to the Empire State Building was already on the agenda. But did you know that Irish governor Al Smith (who was also the first Irish Catholic to run for President) and the Irish construction company Farley's were responsible for its inception and construction? Start off your tour by walking 25 minutes south from Westhouse to the iconic monument made possible by these important Irish-Americans.
69th Regiment Armory
Continuing your walk southwards, stop by the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington and 26th Avenues. Now an official National Historic Landmark, the Armory pays homage to the 69th Infantry Regiment, known today as "The Fighting Irish."
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Returning northwards up Fifth Avenue, make sure to visit the incomparable St. Patrick's Cathedral. Rumored to have been built with the pennies of poor Irish immigrants, this jaw-dropping cathedral is known for its magnificent archways and Gothic architecture.
The American Irish Historical Society
Next, continue your way up Fifth Avenue to the American Irish Historical Society, located directly across from Central Park. Though closed on the weekends, you can visit during the week to take advantage of their guided tours. If you or a friend is a member, check out one of their cultural events for the month like the book talk on Archbishop John Hughes and the Making of Irish America on March 20th.
Frank McCourt High School
For a final stop, walk through the park and make your way to Frank McCourt High School of Writing, Journalism and Literature. Author Frank McCourt is best known for penning the literary classic Angela's Ashes and this school continues his legacy of enriching the community through the arts.
Ready to catch the parade? The 2019 St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off on 44th Street at 11am and marches up 5th Avenue to 86th street, passing St Patrick's Cathedral along the way. Best of all, WestHouse is just moments from all the action. Ask our concierge team for the best viewing spots and secret parade finds.