The Good Old Days--they Were Terrible! - Chapter 3, Housing Summary & Analysis

Otto Bettmann
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Chapter 3, Housing Summary and Analysis

In New York City particularly, the contrast between rich and poor was nowhere more evident than in housing. Filthy, crowded tenements stood nearby to palatial mansions.

The popular brownstone townhouse was usually stuffy and hazardous. Windows were closed to keep out the stench from the street, leading to stagnant and dangerous air inside. Sewer gas from primitive drainage systems, along with air particles from the standard coal stove, created a deadly indoor air quality. That rarity of bathing only compounded the problem.

Tenants, not protected by the laws they are today, were at the mercy of cruel landlords. Due to overpopulation, there was usually a housing shortage, meaning the landlord had all the leverage in the landlord-tenant relationship. Unfair rent raising, completely dilapidated and untended tenements, and brutal evictions were commonplace. Boarding homes became the only refuge for the...

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This section contains 331 words
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Buy The Good Old Days--they Were Terrible! Study Guide
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