The Big Apple’s rental prices are notoriously high, but it’s possible to find affordable housing in New York City, as actress Patricia O’Grady proved. For over half a century, O’Grady lived in Greenwich Village for the astounding price of $28 per month.
Most Greenwich Village apartments cost somewhere around $5,000 per month to rent.
O’Grady’s secret to securing such a lucrative housing agreement was simple: she got in early. In 1955, while she was getting her start in acting, Patricia rented the apartment at-hand for $16 per month; three roommates and an agreement whereby routine cleaning would produce a sizable rent discount helped to make the once-in-a-lifetime arrangement a reality.
Over the years, O’Grady’s roommates moved out of the apartment and on with their lives. Patricia remained in her home, however, and because of sympathetic landlords and New York’s stringent rent-control laws, her rent increased to a whopping $28. Despite the wishes of well-meaning friends, O’Grady insisted on living alone in this same apartment; she did so until she passed away at 84.
Although tremendous, Patricia O’Grady’s story doesn’t feature a happy ending. In March of this year, while she was walking down the street, O’Grady was struck by an at-fault vehicle and instantly killed. As word of Patricia’s fantastic apartment spread across the media, support for her, her family, and her friends was offered from all corners of the globe.
The heartbreaking and tragic end to Patricia O’Grady’s life is hardly indicative of all she offered the world and, in particular, New York City. O’Grady was reported by friends to be a kind-hearted and caring individual, and her final landlord spoke glowingly of the friendship they developed.
O’Grady was a lot of things—friend, family member, actress, and New Yorker—but the truth is that most individuals will remember her for her spectacular Greenwich Village apartment and the unbelievable agreement that made it possible.
Chances are that Patricia won’t mind this label at all.