The corner stone of Old St. Patrick's – New York City’s first Cathedral Church - was laid on June 8, 1809. It was dedicated on May 14, 1815, and on that day the New York Gazette described the cathedral as "a grand and beautiful church, which may justly be considered one of the greatest ornaments of our city"
Designed by architect Joseph Francois Mangin, St. Patrick's has great dignity and character in its restrained simplicity. Her 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.
At the opposite end of the church in the choir loft is a historic organ, an Erben 3-41, in its original condition. The organ was built by Henry Erben in 1852, and is one of less than a dozen such great instruments surviving in New York City. The organ is still used in liturgies today.
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. Also of note are the burial sites of New York's first Bishops and many other prominent people.
Most of all, St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is a church of the people, who generation after generation, helped build America. This venerable church cradled the Irish, Germans, French and Italian communities as they made their foothold in this country. Today's parish is comprised of primarily Italian-Americans, Dominican-Americans and the surrounding area's younger artists and professionals. Our Chinese community is served though liturgies at our church on Broome Street-Most Holy Crucifix.
The Old Cathedral ceased to be the seat of the Archdiocese of New York and became a parish church on May 25,1879. The change in status was the result of the completion of the present Cathedral of St. Patrick located at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue.
St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is located in "The Heart of Old New York" in the rapidly changing neighborhoods of Little Italy, Chinatown, and SOHO. Today's parish is very strong and regularly celebrates liturgies in English, Spanish as well as Chinese at Most Holy Crucifix. St. Patrick's Old Cathedral has served this community for almost 200 years and looks forward to serving it for as many to come.
In 1966, St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was one of the first sites to be named a New York City landmark by the New York City Landmarks Commission. St. Patrick's, St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School and St. Michael's are also listed on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks.
Rectory: 263 Mulberry Street - New York, NY 10012
Tel: (212) 226-8075 – Fax: (212) 226-1219
Rectory Hours - Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm