Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street

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Center for American Places, 2007 - Architecture - 142 pages
3 Reviews

"I trace my ancestry back to the Mayflower," writes Andrew S. Dolkart. "Not to the legendary ship that brought the Pilgrims to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620, but to the more prosaic tenement on the southeast corner of East Broadway and Clinton Street named the Mayflower, where my father was born in 1914 to Russian-Jewish immigrants."

For Dolkart, the experience of being raised in a tenement became a metaphor for the life that was afforded countless thousands of other immigrant children growing up in Lower Manhattan during the past century and more. Dolkart presents for us a precise and informative biography of a typical tenement house in New York City that became, in 1988, the site for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

Dolkart documents, analyzes, and interprets the architectural and social history of this building at 97 Orchard Street, starting in the 1860s when it was erected, moving on to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the neighborhood started to change, and concluding in the present day as the building is reincarnated as the museum.

This book is a lasting tribute to the legacy of immigrants and their children, who were part of the transformation of New York City and the fabric of everyday American urban life.

Distributed for the Center for American Places

Recipient of the 2007 Award for Cultural History given by theNew York City Book Awards

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Review: Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street

User Review  - Cynthia - Goodreads

I hesitate to give 4 stars to something that I am essentially using for the footnotes (as a research tool). However, this was really succinctly and interestingly written, incorporating actual detail ... Read full review

Review: Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street

User Review  - Mary - Goodreads

Excellent sections on the history of indoor/outdoor plumbing and key tenement housing Acts. I read the book first, then took a tour of the tenement house museum -- the book was much better. Read full review

Contents

THE TENEMENT AND ITS INHABITANTS
13
CHAPTER 4 NEW TENEMENT LAWS AND THE CHANGING CHARACTER
60
THE TENEMENT HOUSE ACT OF 1901 AND
74
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Andrew Scott Dolkart is the James Marston Fitch Professor and Associate Professor of Historic Preservation at Columbia University in the City of New York.

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