No wonder: Milligan Place has only four buildings, all on the far left. The tiny gate that leads inside is as narrow as a shop door.
It’s a lovely glimpse of the old Village, when homes were built along streets derived from cow paths and streams, not the boxy street grid.
Patchin named the larger alley around the corner for himself and built the three-story homes here around 1850.
Milligan Place commands high rents now. But for most of the 20th century, it was considered a backwater.
“Down in Milligan Place, the little hole in the wall on lower Sixth Avenue, where babies yowl and black cats prowl and pigeons coo in unison with the music of the elevated, and the soul is untrammeled and free, there is a toy shop,” noted The New York Times in 1915.
[Above left photo of Milligan Place in 1936 by Berenice Abbott. Above right, Milligan Place today]
Tags: Aaron Patchin, Berenice Abbott, Charles Lane, Greenwich Village alleys, Greenwich Village in the 19th century, MacDougal Alley, Milligan Place, New York City alleys and courtyards, Patchin place