2006_02_25_northdispen.jpg

2006_02_25dispenmap.jpg "As Manhattan’s grid begins to give way to a jumble of old Village streets west of Sixth Ave., Waverly Pl. turns from east-west to northwest. For a tiny stretch until it hits southeast-running Grove St., however, Waverly Pl. also continues on its east-west path, forming a small three-sided space bounded by the fork of Waverly Pl. on two sides and Grove and Christopher Sts. on the other. A three-sided building, the Northern Dispensary, occupies that triangle."

Vacant since 1998 when real estate investor William Gottlieb scooped it up, the building is "the only building in New York City with one side on two Streets, Christopher and Grove Streets, and two sides on one Street, Waverly Place." It also has an odd restrictive deed placed on it saying that the property must be used to provide medical care to the "worthy poor."

Because of it's distinct shape, history and character (Edgar Allen Poe was once a patient) the Villager reports that some local groups like Greewich House have made real efforts to contact Gottlieb's estate concerning using the unused building for community services like their adult mental health programs only to be rebuffed at every turn. Gottlieb, who was notorious for leaving his properties empty, passed away in 1999 and left his properties, valued from $100-300 million, to his equally strong-willed sister Mollie Bender.

And so a quirky, "incredibly special and historic building" sits empty. Sigh.

Photogrpah by Jefferson Siegel for the Villager.