New York’s last gas lamp in a West Village alley

Is there an enclave in New York City lovelier than Patchin Place?

This one-lane stretch of circa-1850 brick walk-ups in the West Village is shaded by ailanthus trees and blocked off from traffic by a wrought-iron fence.

It’s shabby-romantic, the former home of many early 20th century writers.

But this little mews off West 10th Street and Sixth Avenue also contains an incredible 19th century old New York relic at its far end.

It’s the location of the last original gas lamp and stanchion in New York City.

The simple, elegantly designed lamp still illuminates the alley at night, and it helps light up the Christmas tree residents place in front of it every December.

Unfortunately, it’s no longer powered by gas; the lamp was wired for electricity in the 1920s.

Imagine the lovely glow it must have cast on Patchin Place until then!

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7 Responses to “New York’s last gas lamp in a West Village alley”

  1. Somebuddy Says:

    There’s a wonderful one in Park Slope that is still lit by gas. The flame is always a surprise when I walk by at night.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Really, is it an original? I’d love to know if there are more out there!

  3. ledamato Says:

    Here’s a link to an article about the gas lamps in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Several friends in the area had these back in the 1980′s. I think I remember a street lamp on 7th, maybe outside the Gaslight Pub on 7th Ave and 1st Street? Thanks for the great blog!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704300604575554114233908050.html

  4. Joe R Says:

    A gas lamp out front is not necessarily a sign of great age. I don’t know whether it was promoted by either the Brooklyn Union Gas Company (as it was then known) or a private contractor, but many of the 1920′s era houses on my parents’ East New York block started sporting gas lamps out front in the late 70′s or early 80′s. After over thirty years of weathering I’m sure that they would look quite old now.

  5. Gimelgort Says:

    In the mid ’90s, my therapist had her office on Patchin Place (no idea if she’s still there, I’m “cured” lol) and I always imagined myself going back in time as I walked through the gate. Thanks for all you do, wild!

  6. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks for reading! I lived in Patchin Place in the late 90s-early 2000s, and though the apartments were ridiculously small, I very much miss its scruffy charm.

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