Friday, April 7, 2017

The Village’s Patchin Place in New York City

Tiny enclaves within big cities will always have a place in our hearts and The Village’s Patchin Place is no exception. A small gated cul-de-sac near the intersection of Avenue of the Americas and West 10th Street, Patchin Place contains a series of ten three-story brick row houses. The homes were developed by a surveyor by the name of Aaron Patchin. It is often rumored that these homes were constructed to house workers from the nearby Brevoort Hotel (which was formerly located at 11 Fifth Avenue, just north of Washington Square). The fact that the Brevoort itself was not erected until 1855, however, contradicts this theory.

The Village’s Patchin Place in New York City
The Village’s Patchin Place in New York City
Patchin Place remained within the family until 1920 when Grace Patchin sold the buildings which were then converted into apartments shortly thereafter. A privacy fence was added to the street entrance in 1929. During the initial two decades when these properties were first converted to apartments, they quickly became a haven for writers who appreciated the space’s relative quiet nature. E. E. Cummings was the street’s most noted residents during this period.

The properties were once again acquired by new ownership in 1963. This owner intended on razing the buildings for construction of larger and/or more commercial properties. Historical activists rose to the challenge though, and ensured that this enclave was saved.

Today, this street is most commonly referred to as “Therapy Row.” Beginning in the 1990s, a number of psychotherapists began to move their offices here. As of 2003, 15 therapist offices occupied 50 of the available properties.

Patchin Place’s most noted charm is via its 19th century Gaslamp. It is only one of two remaining within the entire city of New York. Unfortunately, its gas power has long since been retired and the only light emitted from it today is solely powered via electricity.

Address: Patchin Place, New York City
Cost: Free