Northern Dispensary 1827

📍Christopher Street – West Village – NYC

📆Circa 1827

The Northern Dispensary was founded in 1827 as a clinic for the poor and settled into its permanent home in 1831. The clinic’s most famous patient was the desolate and struggling Edgar Allan Poe who lived just a few doors down at 137 Waverly Place.

In the 20th century, the Northern Dispensary served for a while as a dental clinic. But after a man with AIDS sued for being refused treatment, the clinic was closed in 1989.

The building was later bought by a very interesting personality—Mr. Gottlieb. His shabby appearance could have easily fooled anyone into mistaking him for one of those poor souls seeking medical help from the Dispensary a century before. Unkempt and disheveled, he walked around the Village with his business papers in a shopping bag.

Despite his appearance, Mr. Gottlieb was quite a wealthy person. He had been buying gigantic amounts of real estate in the Village, the Meatpacking District, and the Lower East Side since the 1950s. He kept acquiring, but never sold! By the time he died in 1999, he had owned over 100 buildings in New York—together worth hundreds of millions of dollars!

The Northern Dispensary is now owned by William Gottlieb Real Estate, one of the largest real estate companies in Manhattan. The restrictions written in the site’s deed are so complicated that even seasoned NYC real estate experts cannot figure out what to do the building. 

It stands empty…

Photography mockups are for illustrative purposes only. Actual photographs may be cropped differently than shown depending on product purchased, frame style and matte

Northern Dispensary 1827


Photo Prints

  • Dimensions are in inches
  • Price is for unframed images only
  • Price includes pre-cut acid free matte board and backing board
  • Limited edition, signed on the matte
  • Images are printed with a border on all sides
  • Images may have visible grain and natural imperfections in larger sizes
  • Printed on Museum-quality Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta Satin

Greeting Cards

  • Dimensions are in inches
  • Cards are blank on the inside
  • Price Includes clear-top storage boxes and white envelopes for mailing
  • Printed on elegant, thick glossy card stock with uncoated interior for writing


Doorways of Chicago accepts returns sent within 10 days after receipt, subject to a 20% restocking fee for all photographic merchandise and cards and a 50% restocking fee for home furnishings items. The customer is responsible for return shipping costs and any loss in value due to damage incurred during return shipping. Original shipping charges are not eligible for a refund or credit. Returns must be received within 30 days. All returned products must be 100% complete in original packaging. If an item arrives to you damaged please notify us immediately.

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