Posts Tagged ‘Tenement Houses NYC’

Summer among the tenement houses in 1879

June 18, 2018

“Among the tenement-houses during the heated term—just before daybreak” reads the caption to this 1879 illustration of New York’s poverty-stricken slums in the summertime.

Under a gaslight, adults and kids try to catch a breeze and sleep on the front steps of a rundown grocery, as well as on the roof and beside open windows.

In July and August, any New Yorker who could left the city for cooler weather in the country. These residents remained behind to deal with the oppressive heat made worse by the airless rooms of tenement flats.

They don’t even have fire escapes to sleep on, which 20th century city residents used as beds for hot summer nights.