Francis Patrick Kenrick initiated the building of this magnificent Church in 1846. It was continued through the tenure of Saint John Neumann and completed in 1864 by Bishop (later Archbishop) Wood. The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is modeled after the Lombard Church of Saint Charles (San Carlo al Corso) in Rome. It is an excellent example of Roman-Corinthian architecture.
With its majestic facade, vaulted dome, ornate main altar, eight impressive side chapels, and main sanctuary the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul is one of the largest brownstone and architecturally-eminent structures in the City of Philadelphia. The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is ranked among the outstandingly beautiful and architecturally perfect structures in Philadelphia and in the United States.