The Archdiocese of New York has its first minor basilica: Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the two hundred year-old gothic church in the NoLIta neighborhood. It is a stunningly beautiful church which I only visited once: in the middle of the night in the midst of a torrential downpour the night after Pope John Paul II passed away. The above-linked New York Times piece gives a good description of the grace and beauty of the nave and sanctuary.
The structure has a very high wall around the entire church yard, a remnant of its role as a safehaven during the height of anti-Catholic violence in New York.
My only addition to their account is a bit of an aside, but an amusing story about that church and the colorful characters who participate in Church history. Bishop John DuBois, third bishop of New York (1826-1842), and if I recall, the only non-Irish bishop of New York, requested to be buried under the sidewalk pavement, so that “they might walk over me in death as they did in life.” And there he lies.
Congratulations to Archbishop Dolan and the people of the Archdiocese.