70 W. 10th St. “Patchin Place”
Patchin Place was once part of Sir Peter Warren’s farm who sold it to Samuel Milligan the original owner of Milligan Place. When Milligan’s daughter Isobel married Aaron Patchin, this land was given to them as a gift and is now therefore called Patchin Place.
This tiny gated enclave, made up of ten brick row-houses built in 1848, originally housed waiters who worked for the high-society Brevoort Hotel on 5th Avenue. During the first half of the 20th Century, Patchin Place was home to many writers and artists such as E.E. Cummings who reportedly lived in this cul-de-sac after escaping from army life. This is where he threw himself into writing, painting, and a little debauchery. Patchin Place was also once home to Theodore Dreiser as well as Djuna Barnes, who lived in Patchin Place for 42 years. Djuna Barnes and E.E. Cummings were friends and both would shout from their windows to each other especially Cummings to Barnes “Are you still alive, Djuna”? She was known to be a recluse. Barnes would remain a resident until her death in 1982. One can make the comparison that this artist’s colony was the New York equivalent to Paris’ Le Bateau-Lavoir.
Since the 1990′s, Patchin Place has laughingly become “therapy row” as it is now a popular place for psychotherapist’s offices. It retains one of only two gas street lamps known to still exist in New York City. It’s the only one that continues to give off light, although the light is now powered by electricity instead of gas.