When 6sqft learned of Manhattan’s last two burial plots for sale at the New York Marble Cemetery for $350,000, we thought that was some steep real estate. But it looks like the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Nolita has them beat, as the Post reports that the historic Mulberry Street location is opening “its 200-year-old crypt to the public for the first time — selling a six-person family vault in the catacombs for $7 million.”
Old St. Patrick’s, as it’s commonly known, has the only Catholic cemetery in Manhattan. It was built in 1815 to the Gothic Revival design of Joseph-François Mangin and has burials that date back to the late 1700s. Until the current Saint Patrick’s Cathedral opened in 1879, it was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. In 2010, it became Manhattan’s only basilica.
Bishop Connolly’s tomb, via Old St. Patrick’s and the Catholic New York Self
By the mid-19th century, burials in Manhattan were made illegal, due to the cholera epidemic and the fact that bodies were being buried too shallow and contaminating ground water. But since the 1820s, St. Pat’s has had its brick and cement enclosed tombs. According to the Post, “The boneyard is beneath the Mulberry Street church, hidden behind tall wooden doors and 4-foot-thick stone walls.” Originally, only “the pious or industrious” could take up space in the vaults. This includes 20 members of the Delmonico family (of the historic restaurant), along with John Connolly, New York’s first bishop who has resided there since 1825, New York congressman and Tammany Hall leader John Kelly, and Abraham Lincoln advisor Gen. Thomas Eckert.
Now, anyone from the public can be interred here, assuming they’re willing to spend $7 million
- You Can Buy the Last Two Burial Plots in Manhattan for $350,000 Each
- Hidden Burial Vault and the Skeletal Remains of 12 Found Under Washington Square Park
- INTERVIEW: Melinda Hunt Memorializes the Unclaimed New Yorkers Buried on Hart Island
Lead image via Catholic Liturgical Arts Journal
Tags : Old St. Patrick's
Neighborhoods : Nolita