Northern Dispensary (1.13.09)

I took the photo of this building in the West Village, the Northern Dispensary, but then found that New York Daily Photo already did all of my legwork, and better than I ever could. Sometimes you just have to recognize the work of others.

Northern Dispensary

Northern Dispensary

 From New York Daily Photo Blog, September 18, 2006: On one of the most unique corners in NYC sits one of the most mysterious buildings, previously owned by one of the most eccentric real estate investors – the Northern Dispensary, a triangular Georgian brick building, unoccupied since 1998. Click here for more photos. It is remarkable for having been continuously operated since 1827 as a public clinic – Edgar Allen Poe was treated here at no charge for a cold in 1937. It is also unique in that it has one side on two streets (Grove meets Christopher) and two sides on streets with the same name – where Waverly meets Waverly (click here for photo). The previous owner, William Gottlieb, drove a beat up station wagon with broken windows, yet after his death in 1999, his collection of properties was found to have a value of between 100-300 million dollars. He was notorious for acquiring properties and doing nothing with them – his sister Mollie Bender continues the Gottlieb tradition with no apparent plans for the building. A private deed placed on the building stated that the property had to be used to provide medical care to the “worthy poor.” However, since the deed is private, it is not clear whether it could be enforced. So its future is very unclear as the building stands eerily empty.

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2 thoughts on “Northern Dispensary (1.13.09)

  1. James says:

    This is one of my favorite NYC buildings.

    My understanding is that Mollie Bender is now also deceased and that her heirs are considering selling. Whether the covenant attached the deed about health care stays attached is a good question.


  2. Zoe says:

    Poe was treated in 1837, NOT 1937.

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