Most of the stones that seal the vaults are about 4 feet high and 2-3 feet wide, and cemented in place to prevent odors from wafting up into the church sanctuary.
Francis Delmonico, considered the first to bring fine dining to NYC and also known world-wide for the famous cut of beef served at his restaurant. He and 12 other family members are within this vault.
The final resting place of Countess Annie Leary, whose great philanthropy towards the early Catholic Church in New York was legendary.
The Episcopal Vault was reserved for bishops and was where Bishop John Hughes was laid to rest prior to being moved to St. Patrick's Cathedral on the Upper East side.
The most extravagant vault is that of the Eckert family. Complete with electric light, an altar, and an incredible tile ceiling, this is the only vault that visitors are permitted to enter.
A view from the entrance into the Eckert vault.
The famous ceiling of the Eckert vault. Designed and installed by Rafael Guastavino, who was a Spanish engineer and builder and the inventor of this style of trade craft. His work is visible throughout the New York City subway system as well as at Grant's Tomb and Carnegie Hall, to mention just a few.
The individual tombs within the Eckert vault.
An original Edison light fixture, one of the very first of its kind, in the Eckert vault. The original bulbs have been preserved for safe keeping ... but they still work!
The altar within the Eckert vault, which is frequently used by priests to celebrate Mass when they celebrate it by themselves.
One of the many tombstones present on the north and south sides of Old St. Patrick's, some of which were moved to make space for the "new" church.
On the southern side lies the body of Euphemia Toussaint, niece of Venerable Pierre Toussaint. The two of them used to visit the orphans in the asylum of the Sisters of Charity, which overlooked the cemetery, until she passed at age 14.