Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral selling SoHo crypt space for $7 million

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- Burial sites in Manhattan are extremely rare, but now, one for a family of six is available.

The catch is that you have to pay big bucks -- $7 million, to be exact -- for a crypt under the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in SoHo.

It is the first time since the early 20th century that a mausoleum under the church is available

St. Patrick's is opening its 200-year-old crypt, and with such a price tag, the buyer can expect to be buried near several historic figures. That includes the first bishop of New York and General Thomas T. Eckert, close confidant of Abraham Lincoln. His office is where the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Frank Alfieri, the director of the centuries-old basilica's cemetery and columbaria, says the opportunity came as a fund-raising effort. As the church undergoes renovations, also came the need to restore its 150-year-old pipe organ.

"The urban organ itself needed funds to be restored, and it's $1 million to restore it," he said.

The price tag is steep, though, and Alfieri admits it's not for everyone.

"What we're looking for is, in this individual or family, is to support the efforts here of reviving, restoring the urban organ," he said. "And more importantly, provide that family with the opportunity of a once-in-a-lifetime chance of being interred underneath the old cathedral."

The buyer will also get the naming rights to the historic pipe organ.
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