Posts Tagged ‘history of tenements’

When tenements were named for U.S. presidents

December 1, 2010

I wonder if New Yorkers respected their presidents more around the turn of the 20th century, when all of these residences went up.

Or perhaps developers gave their buildings presidential monikers because they were all constructed in poor neighborhoods.

Maybe having the name of a leader above the front entrance lent a low-rent tenement a more aspirational air.

Whatever the reason, there sure are a lot of presidentially named buildings. Lincoln (on West 51st Street) is understandable, and Roosevelt (East 14th Street) was New York’s former governor.

But McKinley’s (East Village) connection to New York? I’m not aware of one. His may be a sympathy choice; he was assassinated in 1901, right around when the building named for him appeared.