REAL ESTATE: Musing on mews: From Pomander to Patchin

BY MARTHA WILKIE | If you’ve ever stumbled upon Pomander Walk on the Upper West Side, you might think you’ve found Brigadoon. Tiny Tudor-beamed houses line a cobblestone walk located midblock between 94th and 95th Sts. west of Broadway. But only residents and their guests can enter this magical land. It’s a mews, protected by a locked gate.

Mews are gated outdoor common areas, and Manhattan has just a few. Historically, they were converted stables, but can be purpose-built.

Pomander Walk is a hidden jewel of the Upper West Side.

One of the most famous is Patchin Place, home of bohemians and therapists. Legend has it that E.E. Cummings would check on the reclusive writer Djuna Barnes by calling out, “Are you still alive, Djuna?” across the mews each morning.

Sean Khorsandi of Landmark West! explained how Pomander Walk narrowly escaped demolition — twice.

“The 1920s Pomander Walk is an enclave of 27 tiny houses initially conceived as a taxpayer [low-scale building intended to be replaced] while the developer assembled funds for a hotel.”

The Depression put the kibosh on that hotel. Later, in the bleak days of the late 1970s, Pomander Walk was threatened with demolition. Luckily, landmarking in 1982 saved the day.

A barn door in one of the Pomander Walk residences adds a rustic touch.

“Through grassroots community organizing, the residents worked with architects to ensure the future of this once-folly as a cherished landmark,” Khorsandi said.

John Barbato is an agent with Stribling.

“It’s the opposite of cookie-cutter,” he said. “The Walk is like a small countryside community. A fairly tale Oz with a Lollipop Guild. Owners leave garbage out on their front steps to be collected. Children are safe to trick or treat on their own private street. It’s magical.”


Speaking of Pomander Walk, a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath co-op there is for sale for $2.15 million. Built-in sound system and kitchen with not one, but two wine fridges. A nice extra is storage space in the attic. How many New Yorkers have an attic.


You really can’t get much more quaint than the Milligan Place mews in the Village.

On 4 Milligan Place, in the Village, a one-bedroom, one-bath 1880 carriage-house rental with two decorative fireplaces and lovely windows is available. In a gated mews with views of Patchin Place. $4,000 per month.


You can reside in this airy loft in the Printing House, yet still lay claim to some historic mews cred.

In a former industrial building — the 1908 Printing House in the Village — a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath duplex condo is on the market. An alley here formerly used by trucks was converted into a mews. High-end fittings, appliances and all the mod cons, including a “home automation system” — whatever that is. $4.5 million.


If you think you might be amused by a view to a mews, this pad at 1 Fifth Ave. could be for youse…er, you.

Not exactly in a mews, but with views of Washington Mews, is a sweet sunny two-bedroom, two-bath with beamed ceilings, for $2 million. (

One Response to REAL ESTATE: Musing on mews: From Pomander to Patchin

  1. live here? tell others why you love or hate it! gohomeny has property reviews for buildings throughout NYC

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