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Patchin-Place-Lamppost_New-York-City_Untapped Cities

Wedged between Greenwich Avenue and Avenue of the Americas, Patchin Place is a small, gated community in historic Greenwich Village that could very easily be missed by someone walking along 10th street. The small stretch of brick houses, built around 1850 for Basque waiters working at the Brevoort Hotel, was once famous for housing writers like Theodore Dreiser and E. E. Cummings. Now a designated landmark, the cul-de-sac remains almost completely unchanged, retaining its nineteenth century charm.

Famous writers aside, it’s also notable for having the last (or second to last) gaslight lamp post in New York City, of which there were originally thousands. This one, in a style introduced in the 1860s, has a crossbar, which was used for propping up a ladder, according to T.M. Rives, author of Secret New York: An Unusual Guide

Electric lights were introduced to Broadway during the late nineteenth century, but modern lighting only became widespread after the twentieth century, after which these gas lamp posts were replaced by modern electric posts. Though the black cast-iron lamp is the only one of its kind to still survive today, it’s been powered by electricity since the 1920s.

Patchin-Place_New-York-City_Untapped Cities

Read more about the 8 smallest historic districts in Manhattan! We also previously covered the Thomas Edison cast iron lampposts, of which only 100 survive today.

3 Comments

  1. YS says:

    There is a house on East 31 Street between 2nd and 3rd avenue on the North side of the street. I’m pretty sure those are gas lights outside it. And they are always on!

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