The corner stone of Old St. Patrick's, on 263 Mulberry Street in Soho, was laid on June 8, 1809. The cathedral was dedicated on May 14, 1815, and served as the seat of New York City's diocese until 1879.
Beneath the church lies a catacomb of mortuary vaults, opened only once a year, the resting place of many former St. Patrick's Cathedral bishops and Tammany Hall politicians. Buried underneath the front entrance way is Bishop John DuBois.
He was forced to leave France by the French Revolution in May, 1791, and fled in disguise to America. He opened a school on the mountain in Emmittsburg, Maryland, founding the present Mt. St. Mary's College. Father DuBois became bishop in 1825, and served until 1839, passing away at the age of 84 in 1842.