1. Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral
Built between 1809 and 1815, Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York until the current Saint Patrick's Cathedral opened in 1879. When it was built, it was the center of a once impoverished Irish community. In fact, the cathedral became the site of tension between nativist agitators and Irish Catholics and in 1836 a mob tried to ransack the cathedral, but defenders shot their muskets through holes they made in the walls and posted sentries outside to keep nativists from damaging the cathedral, according to NYCago.org. To this day, it still holds its original 1868 pipe organ that was originally operated without any electricity. In 2004, the Organ Historical Society designated it as an instrument of "exceptional historical merit, worthy of preservation," which is the organ equivalent of national landmark status. It's still in use today. The church was declared a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2010.