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NYC - NoLita: Old St. Patrick's Cathedral | by wallyg
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NYC - NoLita: Old St. Patrick's Cathedral

The corner stone of Old St. Patrick’s, the city’s first Cathedral Church and oldest Roman Catholic church, was laid on June 8,1809 and the church was dedicated on May 14,1815. Dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick's ceased to be the seat of the Archdiocese of New York after the completion of the present St. Patrick's Cathedral and became a parish church on May 25,1879. Over the years, the church served the Irish, German, French and Italian immigrant communities. Today’s parish is comprised of primarily Italian-Americans, Dominican-Americans and the surrounding area’s younger artists and professionals.


Designed by architect Joseph Francois Mangin, the architect of City Hall, in a Gothic-inspired style, it was buult of local stone. St. Patrick’s sidewalls rise to a height of 75 feet, and the inner vault is 85 feet high. The church is over 120 feet long and 80 feet wide. Near the west wall stands the huge marble altar surrounded by an ornately carved, gold leaf reredos. The cathedral underwent extensive restoration following a disastrous fire in 1866.


The original, historic organ, an Erben 3-41, built by by Henry Erben in 1852 still sits in the choir loft. Beneath the church lies a labyrinth of well-kept mortuary vaults and outside, is a cemetery containing many old graves and tombstones. Most famous of all was the original resting place of Pierre Toussaint, a Black New Yorker, born a slave in Haiti, whose cause for canonization (sainthood) is being considered in Rome.


St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral was declared a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Commission in 1966.


Old St. Patrick's Cathedral Complex, inclduing St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School and St. Michael’s, National Register #77000964

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Taken on April 2, 2007