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Tenement House Reform

Tenement House Reform

In the late 19th century, the public began to comprehend the extent of the terrible living conditions endured by immigrants and the working-class poor in New York City. The Tenement House Committee, formed in 1898, would lead to the creation of the New York State commission that oversaw passage of the New York Tenement House Act of 1901.

The New York State Tenement House Act of 1901 was one of the first laws to ban the construction of dark, poorly ventilated tenement buildings in the state of New York. This Progressive Era law required new buildings to have outward-facing windows, indoor bathrooms, proper ventilation, and fire safeguards. Prior to the passage of this law, dumbbell tenements, with tiny apartments opening onto air shafts, were common. Tenement houses built after the passage of the New York State Tenement House Act of 1901 are sometimes referred to as “New Law tenements.”

During the 1910s, the Tenement House Committee of the Charity Organization Society of New York published “For You,” an educational pamphlet aimed at educating tenement residents (Columbia University Libraries, n.d.).

This work may also be read through the Internet Archive.

This work may also be read through the Internet Archive.

This work may also be read through the Internet Archive.

This work may also be read through the Internet Archive.

This work may also be read through the Internet Archive.

For further reading:

Dolkart, A. S. (n.d.). The architecture and development of New York City: Dumbbell tenements. Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures. Retrieved from http://ci.columbia.edu/0240s/0243_2/0243_2_s1_2_text.html

Riis, J. A. (1890). How the other half lives: Studies among the tenements of New YorkNew York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons

References: 

Columbia University Libraries (n.d.). Tenement House Committee. Photographs from the Community Service Society Records, 1900-1920. Retrieved from https://exhibitions.cul.columbia.edu/exhibits/show/css/housing/tenement-house-committee

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Social Welfare History Project. (2018). Tenement house reform. Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved from http://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/issues/poverty/tenement-house-reform/

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