12. One of the Last 19th Century Gaslight Lamp Posts is in Greenwich Village

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Before electric lights became the standard in the 20th Century, gaslights existed in homes and streets all over New York City. One of the last gaslight lamp posts from the 19th Century is on Patchin Place, a small gated community between Greenwich Avenue and Avenue of the Americas in the West Village. The black lamp post remains virtually intact and features a crossbar which was used to prop up a ladder. The lamp post is still in use and has been powered by electricity since the 1920s, though the lamp itself is not the original. Another gaslight lamp post from the 19th century stands on Broadway and West 211th Street, though it was built in a different style than its Greenwich Village iteration.

Check out other historic lampposts in NYC.

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2 thoughts on “The Top 15 Secrets of Greenwich Village in NYC

  1. I remember the Women’s House of Detention, from growing up in the Village…the women inside would yell down to their pals on the street, often in colorful metaphors, which shocked parents with little kids.

    The townhouse that blew up in 1971 was on the next block down from my grade school, PS 41. On the day that happened, we were sitting in second grade, doing a lesson, when we heard a “boom” that shook the building. Smoke came slowly down 11th Street, darkening it, and soon we heard zillions of sirens racing to the scene of the crime. When my mother picked me up, the whole area was cordoned off by cops.

    A few days later, a police detective came into our class, dressed in a trenchcoat, wearing a Gene Hackman porkpie hat, which he removed, to ask us if we had seen a naked woman running down 11th Street after the blast. She was sought in connection with the incident. Us being wise-ass second-graders growing up in the Village, we had a lot of answers. Mrs. Blume was shocked by our response.

    The detective thanked us for our time and stumped out of the class, muttering about “freaking smart-ass kids.”

    The good old days.

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