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Real estate in New York City has always been a prospective buyer’s dream.

Whether someone is looking for a hip neighborhood in Manhattan, a family-friendly block in Queens or a spot away from the hustle and bustle out on Staten Island.

However, as Jenna Lee uncovered on Happening Now, there’s one new piece of real estate that a historic cathedral hopes is worth dying for.

Deep in the heart of Lower Manhattan lies the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral; separate from its similarly-named cousin on Fifth Avenue in Midtown.

Completed in 1815, it is one of the oldest Catholic churches in New York.

It was the site of the famous “Godfather” baptism scene, as well as the violent real-life “Five Points” tenements, depicted in Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York.”

In its basement lie a series of catacombs and crypts with fascinating stories.

Guided by Frank Alfieri, a parishioner and church director, Lee explored the catacombs, where one remaining spot is being offered to the public at an asking price of a $7 million church donation.

Alfieri showed Lee the location of the apparently massive O’Conor family vault, hidden behind a large door whose key is long missing.

O’Conor patriarch Charles O’Conor was a former Democratic presidential candidate in 1872, though Horace Greeley became the party’s nominee.

Alfieri also showed where “Honest” John Kelly, a Tammany Hall boss and former New York Representative from the same era, was entombed in another crypt nearby.

The prospective buyer of the remaining vault will also have the opportunity to be buried near a key confidant of Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Thomas Eckert.

“Lincoln drafted part of the Emancipation Proclamation in Eckert’s office,” Alfieri told Lee.

Though the exact dimensions are still being worked out, the new crypt’s buyer will be given six areas for full-body burials, two banks of niches where future generations can be buried, and the unique opportunity for eternal rest in one of the most famous Catholic spots in North America, Alfieri said.

Watch Jenna’s fascinating full report, and let us know what you think in the comments.


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