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Resting behind an opulent French-Gothic Revival visage, the cathedral is rightly situated in the heart of the city. Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart was constructed over the course of nearly a century, specifically built to feature views of the mountains to the west and downtown Manhattan to the east. First proposed in 1859, the cathedral's cornerstone was finally set forty years later. It wasn't until 1954 that the church was completed and consecrated. Pope John Paul II visited this gargantuan cathedral in 1995, performing an evening prayer that earned the cathedral the rank of basilica. Rightly dubbed as the Monument of Faith, this elegant basilica is adorned with sharp arches and glorious chandeliers giving way to the stunning altar. The Cathedral Basilica regularly holds concerts that are open to the public, played on the largest pipe organ ever created by the Schantz Organ Company. Commanding Newark's beautiful landscape, the basilica is one of the most treasured edifices of the city.
A visit to Newark Public Library while in the city is a must for those who wish to learn about the culture and history of the city in-depth. The extensive collection of literature, artworks and historic exhibits make it an important landmark and a popular tourist attraction. The Newark Public Library is home to New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center and James Brown African American Room. This main branch of The Newark Public Library first opened its door to the public in 1901 and now has as many as eight locations across the city.
John Ballantine House was the residence of Jeanette and John Holme Ballantine, owner of a local brewery business. Built around 1885, the brick wall structure is an example of Dutch architecture. Converted into a museum, the house has a dining room, a bed room, a billiard room, a library and a parlor. All the rooms have been restored to represent the era in which they were built. Some other rooms have been made into galleries with artifacts that show the changing lifestyle of the people during the 18th Century. The house is part of the Newark Museum showcasing the decorative arts used in the cultural and social life of the county during the 18th and 19th Centuries.