New York City's first Roman Catholic cathedral, St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was a nexus of the growing immigrant populations of Irish and Italian families until 1879, when the larger, more impressively Gothic edifice
opened on Fifth Avenue. The church has continued to be a historic part of New York City and a functional part of the religious community for all of its now two hundred years in service, welcoming Catholics alongside people of all ages, cultures, races and religious backgrounds.
St. Patrick's Old Cathedral was originally replaced as the main seat of the New York diocese when a fire destroyed most of the building in the late 1800s. Upon its restoration to working condition, the cathedral was demoted within the diocese to a parish church making it a cathedral only in name.