"Report of the Tenement House Committee, Working Women's Society"

Report of the Tenement House Committee of the Working Women's Society. As the object of the Working Women's Society is to secure better conditions for the working people and believing such object is primarily helped by improvement of the dwellings. The tenement house committee of said society has begun investigations in three different portions of the city as shown in the following report it is hoped that the publication of this report may enlist the sympathy and cooperation off the public in demanding better homes for working people.

Mulberry Street Bend bounded by Baird, Park, Baxter on Mulberry Streets has a population of 6,297 (3,243 of which are citizens and 3,054 aliens). The greatest number consists of Italians and next in order are Hebrews and the remainder is made up for the most part of Chinese, mixed nationality whites and a few colored people. The industries especially represented are the assorting of papers and paper boxes gathered from the sweepings of stores and from ash cans, the cleaning and mmending of old clothes and the converting of old cigar stumps into smoking and chewing tobacco. To go into particulars, the following conditions exist:

#59 Baird Street entrance to four rear houses, one of which is wood. Committee found six persons assorting old rags and paper in the yard and twelve children playing in the rubbish. Pavements broken and sunken and invested with pools of dirty water; rooms dark, with low ceilings and insufficient air space, the dampness of these rooms noticable outside the doors and in the open air. From the roof the committee had a view of old cigar stumps spread on boards in quantities sufficient to make the flesh of any cigar smoker crawl. These houses are unfit for haitation.

#61 Baird Street frame house; ground floor occuppied by a gunsmith and blacksmith; water closets delapitated, basement in very bad condition. It might be well to remark here that if most of the basements in "the bend" conform to the laws of the board of health, it would seem as if the present standard is not sufficiently high. Committee saw an old woman open the door of a delapitated building on the yard disclosing rubbish dangerous in case of fire. The floor of the fire escapes in this building consisted of wooden slats.

#63 Baird Street frame house fire escapes with wooden slats dry goods englasure on the front on the ground floor.ground floor period. This building should be pulled down and it is unfit for habitation.

#65 Baird street the committee gladly report here a rear house much more decent than common in this neighborhood.

#67 Baird Street stairs that are dangerous condition and are much worn on the edges, rickety bellistrades and dark halls. Some one was cleaning in one of the halls and deep breathing could be heard, but the individual could not be distinguished although the committee in passing touched the person.

#97 Baird Street front house; general squalic conditions, stairs dangerous and very dirty; the roof the only decent place. Rear house a two story frame building; yard with broken pavements and pools of dirty water and water closets in filthy condition.

#99 Baird Street ground floor second hand clothing and watches. Second floor, a pair of second hand clothing for the store below. This man was esiduously making over clothes, while the floor was covered with rags and ashes in some places two or three inches deep.

#101 Baird Street primary school #2 both sexes admitted. Here the wall of the wooden tenement houses about one foot from the school house, dangerous in case of fire, and a menace of the same sort is found in the front stairs (wooden) of the school house.

#105 Baird Street ground floor occupied by a clothing store with a ragshop in the basement. There are two rear houses having fire escapes with wooden slats period. A man in the yard interviewed the committee here saying: "ladies, what is your mission" one of them replied "who is the owner of these houses" "I am" he answered upon responding to the houses in being in better condition he replied, "evidently they don't suite yee; it don't make any difference your time here is short anyhow" they were however sufficiently longed to see the two rear houses in bad condition.

#55 Baxter Street generally bad conditions a man in the basement was engaged in packing paper and smoking a pipe it was no fault of his that a fire did not break out (it may be well to explain that "paper business whenever mentioned in this report means the assorting and packing of refuse paper and twine obtained from stores and barrels").

#53 Baxter Street rear alley lined with sheds filled with refuse paper. Rooms often inhabited but unfit for human beings to occupy. Water closet in the cellar the steps of to which are of decayed wood and floor soaked with leakage from the water closet period.

#49 Baxter Street cellar filled with old ropes, ground floor occupied by new and second hand clothing and shoe store; alley leading to the rear where there are rooms unfit for habitation.

#45 Baxter Street an old wooden house built for one family; building cracked and delapitated; bowling alley in the basement; saloon on the ground floor; the attic is rutted in separate rooms unfit for human beings.

#42 Baxter Street restaurant and Chinese laundry; the air in the ladder unsufferable the committee glanced in the window of the restaurant and saw bulloated and bleared eyed men eating amid the sickening conditions rear house only fit for dwelling place for the rat whhich ran across the yard while the committee stood by; the stairs leading to the cellar were in a filthy condition and littered with vegatables in all stages of decay; attic divided into rooms for rental. This building is so worn that a beam originally four inches thick for a distance of three feet in the middle is worn to an inch thickness the rooms are tinder boxes, impossible for people to escape fromm in case of fire, and unfit for habitation.

#39 Baxter Street second hand clothing, baker and buther shop; fire escapes with wooden slats, alley devoted to proper business with usual sqaulic colony paper business.

#35 Baxter Street Italian restaurant; alley leading to rear house in far better condition than the average and with more breathing space in yard.

#33 Baxter Street low beer saloon; a woman entered this place and the committe followed finding what is probably a stale beer dive the stench was so sickening that the committee were glad when the time came to leave.

#29 Baxter Street ground floor occupied by a Boutin shoe store. In the hall the committe found post of this notice "Please don't slamb the door" and were pleased to note although the spelling was not correct the inhabitants had some considerations for each other's nerves. On the second floor was found a sink in bad condition and two stair cases, one turning to the right and one to the right both dark and dangerous.

#92 Park Street blacksmith shop in basement; family living above; fire escapes with wooden slats.

#94 Park Street apparently a stale beer dive; a woman entered and the committee followed and found a bar across went into the cellar the conditions were most degrading upon the corner the committee talked with a woman her language was good and she spoke of her friends as respectable people from her speech this would appear to be true it was pitiful to note the abject state of fear which she had been brought be drunkeness.

#64 Mulberry Street Italian residence rear house upon which were fire escapes with wooden slats.

#62 Mulberry Street fire escapes with wooden slats.

#60 Mulberry Street occupied by Italians ground floor bank and book store fire escapes with wooden slats.

#54 & 56 Mulberry Street ground floor occupied by a grocery and saloon rear houses with access to the second and third stories by wooden stairways on the outside between these wooden stairways are fire escapes with wooden slats attention was called to these houses in 1888 but no improvements have been made upon them since that time.

#59 Mulberry Street grocery on the ground floor. Rear houses having fire escapes with wooden slats. The pavement in the yards broken and containing pools of dirty water the pavements of all the above mentioned yard belong to houses in Mulberry Street in bad condition. Many of themm also filled, so as to be almost impassible, with oak boards and wooden boxes and imflammible refuse gathered from the streets.

#50 & 48 Mulberry Street model tenement houses. It was a pleasure to note these buildings and to see that the squalic conditions of the bend might be entirely remmoved by the erection of the houses like these they have stood here for years examples of conditions in helps to virtuous living. They are inhabited mostly be Italians and prove the cleanliness of these people under proper conditions.

#44 & 42 Mulberry Street wine store, Italian cafe, and bank. Decent Conditions.

#40 Mulberry Street wooden tenement house barber shop and restaurant on ground floor.

#38, 36, & 34 Mulberry Street banks and Italian cigar store.

#37 Mulberry Street basement occupied by a beer saloon ground floor bank.

#39 Mulberry Street the basement of this place contained rows of benches upon which were seated a number of men and women, the majority of whom were past middle life. A well dressed and bright looking boy of about fourteen stood outside and the committee inquired of him what the place was. He replied "a disorderly house, don't go down" to this respectable looking boy a disorderly house seemed to be a matter of course. In the rear is a tenement house occupied by Italians engaged in the paper business.

#41 Mulberry Street beer saloon. In the rear were two rows of wooden tenements occupied by at least twenty Italian families engaged in the paper business there are also a row of sheds in the yard, filled with paper and inflammible refuse of all sorts. Fire escapes in these houses have wooden slats. The pavement of the yard broken and pools of water settled. A decently dressed and bright young Italian woman with a child in her arms talked with the committee. She asked "Are you going to get us a parcuier I wish to god you would; we need it here more than anywhere else".

#53 Mulberry Street rear houses; fire escapes with wooden slats. Water closets in the yard in bad condition. The stairway in the front house very dark and dangerous.

#55 Mulberry Street access to both front and rear houses from the side alley dark stairways from alley and to the hall of front house in the rear a two story wooden house with fire escapes with wooden slats. Squalic conditions.

#57 Mulberry Street Italian restaurant and beer saloon.

#59 Mulberry Street squalic conditions rear houses with no fire escapes. Ought to be pulled down.

#61 Mulberry Street basement a rag shop.

#63 Mulberry Street in front of this alley a vendor of stale vegatables applying his trade in the street for the enwholesome atmosphere would seem to discourage all attempts at nutrition.

#65 Mulberry Street beer saloon where were two men in a condition of intoxication in the doorway front stairs very dark and dirty and general squalic conditions rear houses fire escapes with wooden slats.

Corner of Mott and Park Street a Roman Catholic Church called the "Church of Transfiguration" it is a pity that its influence might not transform the abominations in which mmany parishoners, living temples of god, are permitted to dwell.

#33 Mott Street Chinese importers.

#39 Mott Street rear house, fire escapes with wooden slats. The committee entered one of the Chinese Joss Houses, a clean room with an atmosphere of Chinese incense. Immediately behind this room is a Chinese Opium joint. On a wooden bench an old China-man was noted smoking a pipe. Just in the rear of the church noted above is a little wooden house of two stories and an attic. The house is leased by a Chinese fruit vendor in the neighborhood reserves one room in the attic, and sublets the remainder to families. The yard off this house is completely filled with stables and water closets neither in good sanitary conditions.

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