(New York, NY) — True or false: for 63 years a woman was paying under $30 a month for her apartment in Greenwich Village. If you guessed true, you’re right.
Patricia O’Grady moved into the Manhattan apartment back in1955, with three roommates. They swept the hallway floors in exchange for a $16 rent. Upon moving in, the apartment had no sink, no bath, no hot water, or heat. The girls built a sink along with basic furniture, and that’s how the apartment stayed for over six decades. The roommates eventually moved out, but for O’Grady, the apartment remained her home until she passed away this past March at 84 years old.
According to her landlord, Adam Pomerantz, O’Grady was adamant about keeping the apartment as is and refused all offers for improvements. In fact, when her one light bulb went out, she lived by candlelight. Pomerantz attempted to install proper heat, but O’Grady insisted against it. “She didn’t want it. She didn’t want anything,” said Pomerantz.
O’Grady spent most of her time at the 14th street YMCA, where she swam, showered and read the paper.
While over the years her rent increased to $28.43, it was still unheard of and even harder to believe! Pomerantz recalled consulting with an attorney about whether or not that amount was possible. After using a rent-control-formula worksheet, he discovered it was legal, making his building home to one of Manhattan’s last cold-water flats.
O’Grady was an actress who appeared in T.V Soap Operas, theater productions, and the movie “Taxi Driver.” She preferred simple living and used her apartment as a rehearsal space for fellow actors.
As for the apartment now, Pomerantz is planning to renovate the two-bedroom home and put it on the market for, get this, around $5,000.