How The Other Half Lives PDF

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The genesis Of the Tenement

The first house in New York known to have had Cain’s mark from his birth, although a generation passed before the writing was deciphered.

It was the “last house”, which has always been infamous in the history of our city. Earlier there were houses for tenants, but they were not built for this purpose.

Perhaps nothing would have shocked their original owners more than the idea of them harboring a lascivious crowd; Because they were the decorative homes of the old Knickerbockers.

Manhattan’s proud elite in the early days.

It was the hustle and bustle of business, as well as the massive immigration that followed the War of 1812, that displaced them.

In thirty-five years, five lakh souls came to seek shelter in a city with a population of less than one lakh, for whom homes had to be found.

In the memory of those not yet at his peak, Washington had moved too far from his home on Cherry Hill to be easily accessible.

Now the old inhabitants followed his example, but they went in a different direction and for a different reason.

Their comfortable residences on the once-fashionable streets along the East Riverfront fell into the hands of real estate agents and boarding-house keepers.

And here, says the report of the Legislature of 1857, when the evils that arose only excited the alarm.

“At its inception, the tenement-house became a real blessing to that class of the industrious poor, whose meager earnings limited their expenses, and whose employment in the workshops, shops, or warehouses, and on the streets, greatly valued the close residence. Is.”

However, not for long. As trade expanded and the city grew rapidly, the needs of the poor became opportunities for their wealthier neighbors.

and old houses were stamped out, suddenly becoming valuable, which the best thought and effort of a later age has struggled in vain to eradicate.

His “large rooms were divided into many smaller rooms without regard for light or ventilation, the rate of rent being low in proportion to the place or the height from the street.

and they were soon filled from cellar to garret by a class of tenants who lived from hand to mouth, loose in morals, improvisational, depraved, and as wasteful as begging.

Thus it was the dark bedroom, full of untold evils, that came into the world. It was destined to keep the old houses alive.

In his new role, the old report says, in an angry condemnation of “evils more destructive than wars”, “they were not meant to last.”

The rent was set high enough to cover the damages and misbehavior caused by this class, from whom nothing was expected, and most were made of them as long as they lasted.

Cleanliness, orderliness and tidiness were never imagined in relation to the tenant-house system, as it continued to proliferate in its localities year after year.

while reckless folly, discontent, deprivation and ignorance were left to work their irreversible consequences, until the whole complex reached the dilapidated stage of a tenant-house.

But there is no shelter for the miserable crowd buried under smoldering, water-rotten roofs or among rats in damp cellars.

Yet human greed is so insatiable that, later, when an account is called for, “the owners often cite the dirty habits of the tenants as an excuse for the condition of their property.

Completely forgetting the fact that the toleration of those habits was the real evil, and that only they were responsible for it.

AuthorJacob Riis
Language English
No. of Pages326
PDF Size19.9 MB

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