Blog #3



Rich people started moving into apartment houses in the early nineteenth century. The tenements were erected largely for poor immigrants. As these tenements were built there was hardly any laws regulating tenement construction. Although having a fire escape was mandatory. The earliest tenements were built on a 25ft wide lot with hardly no amenities. These lots were planned to house single family but they were housing 20 or 22 in the building. They’re just like the building that the Tenement Museum now occupies on Orchard Street on the lower east side. With 3 rooms in each apartment with only one of them having a window, made it very difficult to have light or ventilation in the inner rooms. Even though Orchard street had access to water and sewage owners were not required to hook up lines in their buildings so many of them had no water in their buildings. There were toilets in the back yards but could only be flushed by the owners representative just once a day if that. So people lived in very poor conditions and in big crowded situations. I the mid-nineteenth century most immigrants in New York were Irish and German. Little maintenance was done to the buildings and conditions got worse at the end of the nineteenth century.

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