(above) Old St. Patrick’s – before restoration.
What once was an obscure church known only to connoisseurs of New York history – and perhaps fans of The Godfather – has certainly raised its profile in recent months.
We learn it is now patronized by, allegedly, the “Sexiest congregation in New York.”
“For nearly 200 years, St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School on Prince and Mott Streets educated local children, absorbing each successive immigrant generation — German, Irish, Italian and, later, Hispanics and Chinese — into its fold. Now, like so many New York City landmarks that were once part of the public realm, the building is being converted to condominiums and townhouses, with prices starting at $7.74 million.”
And what 30 years ago had been an out-of-the-way and even forbidding neighborhood is now brimming with “tastefully curated boutiques.” According to the New York Times, St Patrick’s Old cathedral is “cradled amid fashionable cafes, old walk-up apartment buildings and new, multimillion dollar dwellings.”
Nowadays extensive renovations are going on in the old cathedral. The same Times article gives helpful tips for finding reasonable refreshments in the vicinity.
And Old St. Patrick’s now even appears to have its own cologne:
“The New York Shaving Company Was Inspired By The History Of Old St Patrick’s Cathedral To Create The Old St Patrick’s Collection. Warm And Seductive, This Gentlemen’s Fragrance Opens With An Enveloping Fusion Of Nutmeg, Ginger, Cinnamon, And Bergamot Notes, And Emerges Into A Perfect Blend Of Coriander And Cypress With Subtle Lavender And Geranium Undertones. It Finishes With A Base Of Patchouli, Musk, And Cedar Softened With Vanilla And Benzoin.”
We can, however, wholeheartedly agree that the old cathedral and its surrounding churchyard are well worth a visit. The organ – also being restored – is a wonder to hear. So there seems to be a lot going now on at Old St Patrick’s – why, our Society has also sponsored Traditional solemn vespers in the splendid surroundings! We hope to report shortly in greater detail on the results of the restoration.
1) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/08/realestate/luxury-condos-in-a-former-nolitaorphanage.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0 (downloaded 2/8/2016