A tenement is a multi-occupancy building of any sort. In Scotland it refers to flats divided horizontally in an established building type, including desirable properties in affluent ares, but in other countries the term refers to a run-down apartment building or slum building. In parts of England Devon and Cornwall, the word refers to an outshot, or additional projecting part at the back of a terraced house with its own roof; the term tenement referred to tenancy and therefore to any rented accommodation. The New York State legislature defined it in the Tenement House Act of 1867 in terms of rental occupancy by multiple households, as Any house, building, or portion thereof, rented, let, or hired out to be occupied or is occupied, as the home or residence of more than three families living independently of one another and doing their own cooking upon the premises, or by more than two families upon a floor, so living and cooking and having a common right in the halls, yards, water-closets, or privies, or some of them.
In Scotland, it continues to be the most common word for a multiple-occupancy building, but elsewhere it is used as a pejorative in contrast to apartment building or block of flats. Tenement houses were either adapted or built for the working class as cities industrialized, came to be contrasted with middle-class apartment houses, which started to become fashionable in the 19th century. Late-19th-century social reformers in the US were hostile to both tenements and apartment houses; as the United States industrialized during the 19th century and workers from the countryside were housed in former middle-class houses and other buildings, such as warehouses, which were bought up and divided into small dwellings. Beginning as early as the 1830s in New York City's Lower East Side or the 1820s on Mott Street, three- and four-story buildings were converted into "railroad flats," so called because the rooms were linked together like the cars of a train, with windowless internal rooms; the adapted buildings were known as "rookeries," and these were a particular concern, as they were prone to collapse and fire.
Mulberry Bend and Five Points were the sites of notorious rookeries that the city worked for decades to clear. In both rookeries and purpose-built tenements, communal water taps and water closets were squeezed into the small open spaces between buildings. In parts of the Lower East Side, buildings were older and had courtyards occupied by machine shops and other businesses; such tenements were prevalent in New York, where in 1865 a report stated that 500,000 people lived in unhealthy tenements, whereas in Boston in 1845, less than a quarter of workers were housed in tenements. One reason New York had so many tenements was the large numbers of immigrants. Prior to 1867, tenements covered more than 90 percent of the lot, were five or six stories high, had 18 rooms per floor, of which only two received direct sunlight. Yards were a few feet wide and filled with privies. Interior rooms were unventilated. Early in the 19th century, many of the poor were housed in cellars, which became less sanitary after the Croton Aqueduct brought running water to wealthier New Yorkers: the reduction in well use caused the water table to rise, the cellar dwellings flooded.
Early housing reformers urged the construction of tenements to replace cellars, beginning in 1859 the number of people living in cellars began to decline. The Tenement House Act of 1867, the state legislature's first comprehensive legislation on housing conditions, prohibited cellar apartments unless the ceiling was 1 foot above street level; this was amended by the Tenement House Act of 1879, known as the Old Law, which required lot coverage of no more than 65 percent. As of 1869, New York State law defined a “tenement house” as “any house or building, or portion thereof, rented, leased let or hired out, to be occupied, or is occupied as the home or residence of three families or more living independently of each other, doing their cooking upon the premises, or by more than two families upon any floor, so living and cooking, but having a right in the halls, yards, water-closets or privies, or some of them.” L 1867, ch 908. The New York City Board of Health was empowered to enforce these regulations, but it declined to do so.
As a compromise, the "Old Law tenement" became the standard: this had a "dumbbell" shape, with air and light shafts on either side in the center, it covered 80 percent of the lot. James E. Ware is credited with the design. Public concern about New York tenements was stirred by publication in 1890 of Jacob Riis's How the Other Half Lives, in 1892 by Riis's The Children of the Poor; the New York State Assembly Tenement House Committee report of 1894 surveyed 8,000 buildings with 255,000 residents and found New York to be the most densely populated city in the world, at an average of 143 people per acre, with part of the Lower East Side havin
Vesey Street is a street in New York City that runs east-west in Lower Manhattan. The street is named after the first rector of nearby Trinity Church. Prior to the construction of the World Trade Center it ran as a continuous street from Broadway to the Hudson River; as of 2013, it is still a continuous street, but it has four discontinuous segments with mixed uses: From Broadway to Church Street for motor vehicles and pedestrians. From Church Street to West Street for pedestrians only; this portion was widened during construction of the World Trade Center, separates WTC on the street's south side from the Verizon Building on the street's north side. In Battery Park City, from West Street to North End Avenue for motor vehicles and pedestrians. From North End Avenue to River Terrace and the Irish Hunger Memorial, for pedestrians only; the eastern extension of the street at Broadway is Ann Street. Adjacent to Vesey Street is St. Paul's Chapel, the Church Street Station Post Office, the World Trade Center.
The street next to the World Trade Center was closed to pedestrians after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has not yet been reopened to vehicular traffic. A structure left standing after the collapse of the adjacent buildings is known as the Survivors' Staircase, preserved and can be viewed in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. In the area from Church Street to Washington Street, tourists attempt to view the ongoing construction, pending the future museum and memorial at the site; the World Trade Center PATH station is accessible from the street at the World Trade Center site. Just past the western end of the street is the Irish Hunger Memorial; this end of the street is in the northern part of Battery Park City. Vesey Street was the birthplace of The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, the retail group more known as "A&P." "Washington Street photos". Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. At Vesey Street
George Wesley Bellows was an American realist painter, known for his bold depictions of urban life in New York City. He became, according to the Columbus Museum of Art, "the most acclaimed American artist of his generation". George Wesley Bellows was raised in Columbus, Ohio, he was the only child of Anna Wilhelmina Smith Bellows. He was born four years after his parents married, at the ages of forty, his mother was the daughter of a whaling captain based in Sag Harbor, Long Island, his family returned there for their summer vacations. He began drawing well before kindergarten, his elementary–school teachers asked him to decorate their classroom blackboards at Thanksgiving and Christmas. At age 10 George decided to become an athlete, trained himself to become a popular baseball and basketball player, he became good enough at both sports to play semipro ball for years afterward. During his senior year, a baseball scout from the Indianapolis team made him an offer, he declined. There he played for the baseball and basketball teams, provided illustrations for the Makio, the school's student yearbook.
He was encouraged to become a professional baseball player, he worked as a commercial illustrator while a student and continued to accept magazine assignments throughout his life. Despite these opportunities in athletics and commercial art, Bellows desired success as a painter, he moved to New York City to study art. Bellows was soon a student of Robert Henri, before the later-famous artist had set up his own famous school, who at the time was teaching at the New York School of Art. While studying there, Bellows became associated with Henri's "The Eight" and the Ashcan School, a group of artists who advocated painting contemporary American society in all its forms. By 1906, Bellows and fellow art student Edward Keefe had set up a studio at 1947 Broadway Street. Bellows first achieved widespread notice in 1908, when he and other pupils of Henri organized an exhibition of urban studies. While many critics considered these to be crudely painted, others found them welcomely audacious, a step beyond the work of his teacher.
Bellows taught at the Art Students League of New York in 1909, although he was more interested in pursuing a career as a painter. His fame grew. Bellows' urban New York scenes depicted the crudity and chaos of working-class people and neighborhoods, satirized the upper classes. From 1907 through 1915, he executed a series of paintings depicting New York City under snowfall. In these paintings Bellows developed his strong sense of light and visual texture, exhibiting a stark contrast between the blue and white expanses of snow and the rough and grimy surfaces of city structures, creating an aesthetically ironic image of the rough and grimy men struggling to clear away the nuisance of the pure snow. However, Bellows' series of paintings portraying amateur boxing matches were arguably his signature contribution to art history, they are characterized by dark atmospheres, through which the bright lain brushstrokes of the human figures vividly strike with a strong sense of motion and direction. Growing prestige as a painter brought changes in his work.
Though he continued his earlier themes, Bellows began to receive portrait commissions, as well as social invitations, from New York's wealthy elite. Additionally, he followed Henri's lead and began to summer in Maine, painting seascapes on Monhegan and Matinicus islands. At the same time, the always conscious Bellows associated with a group of radical artists and activists called "the Lyrical Left", who tended towards anarchism in their extreme advocacy of individual rights, he taught at the first Modern School in New York City, served on the editorial board of the socialist journal, The Masses, to which he contributed many drawings and prints beginning in 1911. However, he was at odds with other contributors due to his belief that artistic freedom should trump any ideological editorial policy. Bellows notably dissented from this circle in his public support of U. S. intervention in World War I. In 1918, he created a series of lithographs and paintings that graphically depicted atrocities which the Allies said had been committed by Germany during its invasion of Belgium.
Notable among these was The Germans Arrive, which gruesomely illustrated a German soldier restraining a Belgian teen whose hands had just been severed. However, his work was highly critical of the domestic censorship and persecution of antiwar dissenters conducted by the U. S. government under the Espionage Act. He was criticized for some of the liberties he took in capturing scenes of war; the artist Joseph Pennell argued that because Bellows had not witnessed the events he painted firsthand, he had no right to paint them. Bellows responded that he had not been aware that Leonardo da Vinci "had a ticket to paint the Last Supper"; as Bellows' oils focused more on domestic life, with his wife and daughters as beloved subjects, the paintings displayed an programmatic and theoretical approach to color and design, a marked departure from the fluid muscularity of the early work. One of Bellows' central subjects was the sea, he painted over 250 scenes of it during the course of his career; the Fisherman, a significant late canvas focusing on the topic that he made while visiting Carmel, California, is in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
In addition to pa
The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Brooklyn, spanning the East River; the Brooklyn Bridge has a height of 276.5 ft above mean high water. It is one of the oldest roadway bridges in the United States and was the world's first steel-wire suspension bridge, as well as the first fixed crossing across the East River; the Brooklyn Bridge started construction in 1869 and was completed fourteen years in 1883. It was called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and the East River Bridge, but it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name coming from an earlier January 25, 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Over the years, the Brooklyn Bridge has undergone several reconfigurations. Commercial vehicles are banned from the bridge. Since opening, the Brooklyn Bridge has become an icon of New York City, ranking among the city's most popular tourist attractions, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.
Although the Brooklyn Bridge is technically a suspension bridge, it uses a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge design. The towers are built of limestone and Rosendale cement; the limestone was quarried at the Clark Quarry in New York. The granite blocks were quarried and shaped on Vinalhaven Island, under a contract with the Bodwell Granite Company, delivered from Maine to New York by schooner; the bridge was built with numerous compartments in its anchorages. New York City rented out the large vaults under the bridge's Manhattan anchorage in order to fund the bridge. Opened in 1876, the vaults were used to store wine, as they were always at 60 °F; this was called the "Blue Grotto" because of a shrine to the Virgin Mary next to an opening at the entrance. When New York magazine visited one of the cellars in 1978, it discovered on the wall a "fading inscription" reading: "Who loveth not wine and song, he remaineth a fool his whole life long." The bridge was conceived by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling in 1852, who spent part of the next 15 years working to sell the idea.
He had designed and constructed shorter suspension bridges, such as Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct in Lackawaxen and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge between Cincinnati and Covington, Kentucky. In February 1867, the New York State Senate passed a bill that allowed the construction of a suspension bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Two months the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Company was incorporated; the company was tasked with constructing what was known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. While conducting surveys for the bridge project, Roebling sustained a crush injury to his foot when a ferry pinned it against a piling. After amputation of his crushed toes, he developed a tetanus infection that left him incapacitated and soon resulted in his death in 1869, his 32-year-old son, Washington Roebling, was designated to replace his father. "After a week I had become sufficiently composed to take a sober look at my own situation," Washington wrote. "Here I was at the age of 32 put in charge of the most stupendous engineering structure of the age!
The prop on which I had hitherto leaned had fallen -- henceforth I must rely on myself -- How much better when this happens early in life, before we realize what it all implies."Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge began in 1869. The bridge's two towers were built by floating two caissons, giant upside-down boxes made of southern yellow pine, in the span of the East River, beginning to build the stone towers on top of them until they sank to the bottom of the river. Compressed air was pumped into the caissons, workers entered the space to dig the sediment, until the caissons sank to the bedrock. Once the caissons had reached the desired depth, the caissons were filled in with brick piers and concrete; the whole weight of the bridge still rests upon these constructions. Many workers became sick with the bends during this work; this condition was unknown at the time and was first called "caisson disease" by the project physician, Andrew Smith. Washington Roebling suffered a paralyzing injury as a result of "caisson disease" shortly after ground was broken for the Brooklyn tower foundation on January 3, 1870.
Roebling's debilitating condition left him unable to physically supervise the construction firsthand. As chief engineer, Roebling supervised the entire project from his apartment with a view of the work and redesigning caissons and other equipment, he was aided by his wife, Emily Warren Roebling, who provided the critical written link between her husband and the engineers on site. Emily Warren Roebling understood higher mathematics, calculations of catenary curves, strengths of materials, bridge specifications, intricacies of cable construction, she spent the next 11 years helping to supervise the bridge's construction. When iron probes underneath the caisson for the Manhattan tower found the bedrock to be deeper than expected, Roebling halted construction due to the increased risk of decompression sickness, he deemed the sandy subsoil overlying the bedrock 30 feet below it to be firm enough to support the tower base, construction continued. The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge is detailed in The Great Bridge, the book by David McCullough, in Brooklyn Bridge, the first PBS documentary film by Ken Burns.
Burns drew on McCullough's book for the film and used hi
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is an art museum located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles. LACMA is on Museum Row, adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits. LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, it attracts nearly a million visitors annually. It holds more than 150,000 works spanning the history of art from ancient times to the present. In addition to art exhibits, the museum features concert series; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was established as a museum in 1961. Prior to this, LACMA was part of the Los Angeles Museum of History and Art, founded in 1910 in Exposition Park near the University of Southern California. Howard F. Ahmanson, Sr. Anna Bing Arnold and Bart Lytton were the first principal patrons of the museum. Ahmanson made the lead donation of $2 million, convincing the museum board that sufficient funds could be raised to establish the new museum. In 1965 the museum moved to a new Wilshire Boulevard complex as an independent, art-focused institution, the largest new museum to be built in the United States after the National Gallery of Art.
The museum, built in a style similar to Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Music Center, consisted of three buildings: the Ahmanson Building, the Bing Center, the Lytton Gallery. The board selected LA architect William Pereira over the directors' recommendation of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the buildings. According to a 1965 Los Angeles Times story, the total cost of the three buildings was $11.5 million. Construction began in 1963, was undertaken by the Del E. Webb Corporation. Construction was completed in early 1965. At the time, the Los Angeles Music Center and LACMA were concurrent large civic projects which vied for attention and donors in Los Angeles; when the museum opened, the buildings were surrounded by reflecting pools, but they were filled in and covered over when tar from the adjacent La Brea Tar Pits began seeping in. Money poured into LACMA during the boom years of the 1980s, a $209 million in private donations during director Earl Powell's tenure. To house its growing collections of modern and contemporary art and to provide more space for exhibitions, the museum hired the architectural firm of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates to design its $35.3-million, 115,000-square-foot Robert O. Anderson Building for 20th-century art, which opened in 1986.
In the far-reaching expansion, museum-goers henceforth entered through the new roofed central court, nearly an acre of space bounded by the museum's four buildings. The museum's Pavilion for Japanese Art, designed by maverick architect Bruce Goff, opened in 1988, as did the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden of Rodin bronzes. In 1999, the Hancock Park Improvement Project was complete, the LACMA-adjacent park was inaugurated with a free public celebration; the $10-million renovation replaced dead trees and bare earth with picnic facilities, viewing sites for the La Brea tar pits and a 150-seat red granite amphitheater designed by artist Jackie Ferrara. In 1994, LACMA purchased the adjacent former May Company department store building, an impressive example of streamline moderne architecture designed by Albert C. Martin Sr. LACMA West increased the museum's size by 30 percent when the building opened in 1998. In 2004 LACMA's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan for LACMA's transformation by architect Rem Koolhaas, who had proposed razing all the current buildings and constructing an new single, tent-topped structure, estimated to cost $200 million to $300 million.
Kohlhaas edged out French architect Jean Nouvel, who would have added a major building while renovating the older facilities. The list of candidates had narrowed to five in May 2001: Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind and Thom Mayne. However, the project soon stalled. In 2004 LACMA's Board of Trustees unanimously approved plans to transform the museum, led by architect Renzo Piano; the planned transformation consisted of three phases. Phase I started in 2004 and was completed in February 2008; the renovations required demolishing the parking structure on Ogden Avenue and with it LACMA-commissioned graffiti art by street artists Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee. The entry pavilion is a key point in architect Renzo Piano's plan to unify LACMA's sprawling confusing layout of buildings; the BP Grand Entrance and the adjacent Broad Contemporary Art Museum comprise the $191 million first phase of the three-part expansion and renovation campaign. BCAM is named for Edy Broad, who gave $60 million to LACMA's campaign.
BCAM opened on February 2008, adding 58,000 square feet of exhibition space to the museum. In 2010 the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion opened to the public, providing the largest purpose-built lit, open-plan museum space in the world; the second phase was intended to turn the May building into new offices and galleries, designed by SPF Architects. As proposed, it would have had flexible gallery space, education space, administrative offices, a new restaurant, a gift shop and a bookstore, as well as study centers for the museum's departments of costume and textiles and prints and drawings, a roof sculpture garden with two works by James Turrell. However, construction of this phase was halted in November 2010. Phase two and three were never completed. In October 2011, LACMA entered into an agreement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences under which the Academ
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan located between the Bowery and the East River, Canal Street and Houston Street. Traditionally an immigrant, working class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting the National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places; the Lower East Side is part of Manhattan Community District 3 and its primary ZIP Code is 10002. It is patrolled by the 7th Precinct of the New York City Police Department; the Lower East Side is bounded by the Bowery to the west, East Houston Street to the north, the FDR Drive to the east and Canal Street to the south. The western boundary below Grand Street veers east off of the Bowery to Essex Street; the neighborhood is bordered in the south and west by Chinatown – which extends north to Grand Street, in the west by Nolita and in the north by the East Village.
The "Lower East Side" referred to the area alongside the East River from about the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street up to 14th Street, bounded on the west by Broadway. It included areas known today as East Village, Alphabet City, Bowery, Little Italy, NoLIta. Parts of the East Village are still known as Loisaida, a Latino pronunciation of "Lower East Side". Politically, the neighborhood is located in 12th congressional districts, it is in 74th district. As was all of Manhattan Island, the area now known as the Lower East Side was occupied by members of the Lenape tribe, who were organized in bands which moved from place to place according to the seasons, fishing on the rivers in the summer, moving inland in the fall and winter to gather crops and hunt for food, their main trail took the route of Broadway. One encampment in the Lower East Side area, near Corlears Hook was called Naghtogack; the population of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was located below the current Fulton Street, while north of it were a number of small plantations and large farms called bouwerij at the time.
Around these farms were a number of enclaves of free or "half-free" Africans, which served as a buffer between the Dutch and the Native Americans. One of the largest of these was located along the modern Bowery between Prince Street and Astor Place; these black farmers were some of the earliest settlers of the area. During the 17th century, there was an overall consolidation of the boweries and farms into larger parcels, much of the Lower East side was part of the Delancy farm. James Delancey's pre-Revolutionary farm east of post road leading from the city survives in the names Delancey Street and Orchard Street. On the modern map of Manhattan, the Delancey farm is represented in the grid of streets from Division Street north to Houston Street. In response to the pressures of a growing city, Delancey began to survey streets in the southern part of the "West Farm" in the 1760s. A spacious projected Delancey Square—intended to cover the area within today's Eldridge, Essex and Broome Streets—was eliminated when the loyalist Delancey family's property was confiscated after the American Revolution.
The city Commissioners of Forfeiture eliminated the aristocratic planned square for a grid, effacing Delancey's vision of a New York laid out like the West End of London. The point of land on the East River now called Corlears Hook was called Corlaers Hook under Dutch and British rule, Crown Point during British occupation in the Revolution, it was named after the schoolmaster Jacobus van Corlaer, who settled on this "plantation" that in 1638 was called by a Europeanized version of its Lenape name, Nechtans or Nechtanc. Corlaer sold the plantation to Wilhelmus Hendrickse Beekman, founder of the Beekman family of New York. On February 25, 1643, volunteers from the New Amsterdam colony killed thirty Wiechquaesgecks at their encampment at Corlears Hook, as part of Kieft's War, in retaliation for ongoing conflicts between the colonists and the natives of the area, including their unwillingness to pay tribute, their refusal to turn over the killer of a colonist; the projection into the East River that retained Corlaer's name was an important landmark for navigators for 300 years.
On older maps and documents it is spelled Corlaers Hook, but since the early 19th century the spelling has been anglicized to Corlears. The rough unplanned settlement that developed at Corlaer's Hook under the British occupation of New York during the Revolution was separated from the densely populated city by rough hills of glacial till: "this region lay beyond the city proper, from which it was separated by high and rough hills", observers recalled in 1843; as early as 1816, Corlears Hook was notorious for streetwalkers, "a resort for the lewd and abandoned of both sexes", in 1821 its "streets abounding every night with preconcerted groups of thieves and prostitutes" were noted by the "Christian Herald". In the course of the 19th century they came to be called hookers. In the summer of cholera in New York, 1832, a two-storey wooden workshop was commandeered to serve as a makeshift cholera hospital. In 1833, Corlear's Hook was the location of some of the first tenements built in New York C
The Bowery is a street and neighborhood in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan. The street runs from Chatham Square at Park Row, Worth Street, Mott Street in the south to Cooper Square at 4th Street in the north; the eponymous neighborhood runs from the Bowery east to Allen Street and First Avenue, from Canal Street north to Cooper Square/East Fourth Street. To the south is Chinatown, to the east are the Lower East Side and the East Village, to the west are Little Italy and NoHo, it has been considered a part of the Lower East Side. In the 17th century, the road branched off Broadway north of Fort Amsterdam at the tip of Manhattan to the homestead of Peter Stuyvesant, director-general of New Netherland; the street was known as Bowery Lane prior to 1807. "Bowery" is an anglicization of the Dutch bouwerij, derived from an antiquated Dutch word for "farm": In the 17th century the area contained many large farms. A New York City Subway station named Bowery, serving the BMT Nassau Street Line, is located close to the Bowery's intersection with Delancey and Kenmare Streets.
There is a tunnel under the Bowery once intended for use by the proposed, but never built, New York City Subway services, including the Second Avenue Subway. The Bowery is the oldest thoroughfare on Manhattan Island, preceding European intervention as a Lenape footpath, which spanned the entire length of the island, from north to south; when the Dutch settled Manhattan island, they named the path Bouwerij road – "bouwerij" being an old Dutch word for "farm" – because it connected farmlands and estates on the outskirts to the heart of the city in today's Wall Street/Battery Park area. In 1654, the Bowery's first residents settled in the area of Chatham Square. Petrus Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New Amsterdam before the English took control, retired to his Bowery farm in 1667. After his death in 1672, he was buried in his private chapel, his mansion burned down in 1778 and his great-grandson sold the remaining chapel and graveyard, now the site of the Episcopal church of St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery.
In her Journal of 1704–05, Sarah Kemble Knight describes the Bowery as a leisure destination for residents of New York City in December: Their Diversions in the Winter is Riding Sleys about three or four Miles out of Town, where they have Houses of entertainment at a place called Bowery, some go to friends Houses who handsomely treat them. I believe we mett 50 or 60 slays that day – they fly with great swiftness and some are so furious that they'le turn out of the path for none except a Loaden Cart. Nor do they spare for any diversion the place affords, sociable to a degree, they'r Tables being as free to their Naybours as to themselves. By 1766, when John Montresor made his detailed plan of New York, "Bowry Lane", which took a more north-tending track at the rope walk, was lined for the first few streets with buildings that formed a solid frontage, with market gardens behind them. In 1766, straight lanes led away at right angles to gentlemen's seats well back from the dusty "Road to Albany and Boston", as it was labeled on Montresor's map.
James Delancey's grand house, flanked by matching outbuildings, stood behind a forecourt facing Bowery Lane. The Bull's Head Tavern was noted for George Washington's having stopped there for refreshment before riding down to the waterfront to witness the departure of British troops in 1783. Leading to the Post Road, the main route to Boston, the Bowery rivaled Broadway as a thoroughfare; as the population of New York City continued to grow, its northern boundary continued to move, by the early 1800s the Bowery was no longer a farming area outside the city. The street gained in respectability and elegance, becoming a broad boulevard, as well-heeled and famous people moved their residences there, including Peter Cooper, the industrialist and philanthropist; the Bowery began to rival Fifth Avenue as an address. When Lafayette Street was opened parallel to the Bowery in the 1820s, the Bowery Theatre was founded by rich families on the site of the Red Bull Tavern, purchased by John Jacob Astor. Across the way the Bowery Amphitheatre was erected in 1833, specializing in the more populist entertainments of equestrian shows and circuses.
From stylish beginnings, the tone of Bowery Theatre's offerings matched the slide in the social scale of the Bowery itself. By the time of the Civil War, the mansions and shops had given way to low-brow concert halls, German beer gardens, pawn shops, flophouses, like the one at No. 15 where the composer Stephen Foster lived in 1864. Theodore Dreiser closed his tragedy Sister Carrie, set in the 1890s, with the suicide of one of the main characters in a Bowery flophouse; the Bowery, which marked the eastern border of the slum of "Five Points", had become the turf of one of America's earliest street gangs, the nativist Bowery Boys. In the spirit of social reform, the first YMCA opened on the Bowery in 1873.