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History of NYC final
Undergraduate 1

Additional History Flashcards




Lawrence Veiller
· Chief executive officer of the Tenement Housing Committee

· Organized the Tenement-House Exhibition in 1900 designed to bring to light the housing conditions of people living on the Lower East Side, the House Department later found that the Tenth Ward was the most densely populated in the city

· His exhibition of photographs, maps, and charts showed poverty, disease, and sanitation horrors that were part of everyday life for the area’s residents

· The response to his exhibition was so large he drafted a new Tenement House Law that was rushed through New York state legislature by Teddy Roosevelt and was signed into law on April 18, 1900

· The effect was national as well as city –wide, he was the founder and director of the National Housing Association, which transformed housing reform from a local to a national project
“Little Flower”
· Nickname for Fiorello La Guardia - Born 1882, Died 1947

· Mayor of New York for 12 years, transformed the city into what he called “the world’s greatest experiment in social and political democracy”

· Worked very hard for long hours, made him the most beloved mayor in the city’s history

· Took office in 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression and in the next five years the city received $1.1 billion dollars from federal agencies

· Along with his master builder, Robert Moses, he forever altered the infrastructure of New York

· Poured public money into the economy in order to stimulate private investment

· Attacked the slums and created the New York City Housing Authority, which built the first public housing project in the United States
Jacob Riis
· Immigrated to the US from Denmark in 1870, had no money and was unemployed

· Eventually started working as a police reporter of the New York Tribune from 1877 to 1888

· Known for his vivid descriptions of life in the most densely populate neighborhood in the world (the Tenth Ward)

· Book How the Other Half Lives (1890) and photographs used to accompany his text brought him national recognition

· Helped the establishment of the Tenement House Commission, the construction of many children’s playgrounds, and the closing of the police lodging houses

· Roosevelt called him “the most useful citizen of New York and the best American I know
· System of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers

· Containers are built to standardized dimensions an can be loaded and unloaded, stacked, transported efficiently over long distance, and transferred from one mode of transport to another easily

· System was developed after WWII and led to greatly reduced transport costs and supported a vast increase in international trade

· Ports in NYC no longer needed piers for loading and unloading but vast holding lots for containers; because NYC had no space, the ports function as a major commercial port decreased
Luna Parks – (1903-1944)
-amusement park at Coney Island (area with many parks)
- iconic ride/attraction = steeple chase
-fanciful architecture with electric bulbs and lights (visual, magical feel) = novelty and destination → fun to just hang out (free) which appealed to the young and poor
- prime location = easily reached by all boroughs (large train junction)
- originally began in 1830’s as an area for high class resorts after civil war due to expansion of railroads (increased accessibility outside manhattan).
- Coney Island became to be known as the “Nickel Empire” because for just five cents, one could get a ride, a hot dog and a subway ticket. The price of the park was so cheap, it created a haven for the working class who couldn’t afford to go on a true vacation. This large gathering of people also made it a great spot to find companions.
A.T. Stewart – 1846
-Revolutionary store – so big that it had different departments (“department store”), offered money back guarantee, competitive low prices, and large scale advertising, known as the “marble palace”
-Associated with “Ladies mile” – greatest concentration of department stores, shopping became by and for the women who could afford it and for lower class women that worked there
-Department stores changed the city to be open and friendly to females
-Department stores and newspapers go hand-in-hand (advertising), NY herald first used “marble palace”
Dumbbell Tenement - 1879
Dumbbell tenements, or Old Law tenements, were built after the Tenement House Act of 1879 but before the NY State Tenement House Act of 1901. The “dumbbell” refers to the shape of the building, as an air shaft placed between adjacent tenements gave the buildings a “narrow waist,” like a dumbbell; the Tenement House Act of 1879 required every inhabitable room to have a window opening to plain air. These tenements were built for large throngs of immigrating Europeans, and many built on the Lower East Side; they were 6 stories, contained 84 rooms, and housed approximately 150 people. The tenements were still infamous for their conditions, especially as a place that caused health epidemics. The tenements had very little privacy, poor fire escapes, and filled with disgusting odors from the unkempt airshafts. By 1914, 1/6th of the city’s population lived in these dumbbell tenements. (p. 474-476 describes the dumbbell tenements)
1741 Negro Plot
-A large number of fires in 1741, many of which burned important buildings such as the governor’s house, (a building that housed important city documents), sparked a conspiracy theory that slaves were behind the fires.
-160 blacks, 21 whites were arrested; 17 blacks, 4 whites were hanged; 13 blacks were burned at the stake; 70 blacks and 7 whites exiled from NYC.
-Revealed the deep racial tension due to the competition between slaves and poor white workers.
- The winter of 1741 was especially harsh, there was an economic depression (which exacerbated tense feelings), and also a war between Britain and Spain
-slaves = 1/5th of the NYC population
Eyes on the street
Safety comes from constant presence of people on the streets who have an unconscious assumption of trust. It is relatively simple to keep the peace in a city in which there are plenty of eyes on the street--this keeps sidewalks safer for city residents, giving them strength, according to Jacobs. These eyes on the street belong to natural proprietors (buildings should be oriented to the street, rather than leaving it blind), pedestrians who frequent he sidewalks, and people watchers from their windows. Jacobs argues that "if a city's streets are safe from barbarism and fear, the city is thereby tolerably safe from barbarism and fear" (Jacobs 327). A few instances of violence on he streets or sidewalks make residents fear the streets so they begin to use them less (for personal safety) which makes the streets even more unsafe. Quiet residential areas and areas of rebuilding have more dangerous streets than older parts of cities and slums because well-used streets are apt to be safe streets while deserted streets are apt to be dangerous.
Long blocks
Jacobs defines long blocks as physically self-isolating and monotonous city blocks which are associated with isolated street neighborhoods (for example, those on manhattan's west side). She believes they are a characteristic of failure and contribute greatly to the incompetence of street neighborhoods. These blocks are not sufficiently equipped for city life, are dull, are helpless socially, don't effectively generate diversity, and cause consolidation of commerce which is bad for the character of the area an for it's economy.
Ebenezer Howard (1850-1928)
Turn of the century visionary who was appalled by both traditional suburbs and urban slums. Howard hated cities because he thought it was "an outright evil and an affront to nature" for a large number of people to live in such close proximity. He proposed a program in his publication Garden Cities of To-morrow in 1898 to halt the growth of London and repopulate the countryside by building utopian "garden cities" where the poor could live close to nature. These garden cities were intended to be self-sufficient and encircled by a belt of agriculture to prevent sprawl. They were to be controlled by the public authority under which the town was developed and have a population cap of 30,000 people. This became a very influential idea in modern city planning
Ideas formed the basis of Rexford G. Tugwell's "green belt communities"--efforts of the New Deal's Greenbelt Town Program that were intended to foster deconcentration (crabgrass pg 195)--which are simply suburbs that are incomplete modifications of Howard's idea.
Margaret Sanger
Birth control
The American medical Association made birth control legal
Sanger fought to made contraception legal in the United states
She started of by making publication such as the The Woman Rebel, to info women how to take care of themselves and how to avoid pregnancies.
Sanger was a nurse and saw first hand the problem with women not being able to control when they get pregnant.
Women having a lot children lead to a large number of orphans, especially in cities
By Margaret Sanger getting birth control she not know only empowered women but improved the life in the city.
Shelly v. Kramer (1948)
is a US Supreme Court case which held that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate. A group of home owners in a neighborhood signed a agreement saying they would only let white people into the neighborhood The Court restricted covenant based on race would deny the petitioners Equal Protection of the laws under the 14th Amendment. This was a start to racial equality in the housing market
Wedding cake" massing
This is related to the Skyscraper design
1916(NYC) a law was passed that limited the height and bulk of tall buildings with a formula called the zoning
This protected light and air in NYC’s canyons
The law required that after a max vertical height above the sidewalk a building must step back as it rises in accordance with a fixed angle drawn from the center of the street
This law shaped the NYC skyline from the 1920s to the 1950s
Flushing Remonstrance
1657 petition to Peter Stuyvesant, in which many citizens requested an exemption to his ban on Quaker worship.
This was considered a precursor to the US’s provision on freedom of religion
According to KenKen this was remarkable for four reasons:
it articulated a fundamental right that is as basic to American freedom as any other,
the authors backed up their words with actions by sending it to an official not known for tolerance,
they stood up for others and were articulating a principle that was of little discernible benefit to themselves,
and the language of the remonstrance is as beautiful as the sentiments they express.
This also an example of how NYC has alway been tolerant of different people and NYC focus on making money.
SS Normandie was an ocean line built in Saint-Nazaire, France for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat; she is still the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built. The traveled between Le Havre and New York, and she was a bad bitch because she was lavish and fast. WHADDUP, TITANIC. There's even a hotel in Puerto Rico based off of the boat! And Disney designed their cruise ships off of the Normandie! During World War II, Normandie was seized by the United States authorities at New York and renamed USS Lafayette. In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized onto her port side and came to rest on the mud of the Hudson River at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in 1946. BASICALLY, we ruined the Normandie. Awesome.
William J Levitt
The core of my hometown is made up of Levitt homes, AND I share a birthday with the man. Boom. Levitt was an American real-estate developer widely credited as the father of modern American suburbia. He came to symbolize the new suburban growth with his use of
mass-production techniques to construct large developments of houses selling for under
$10,000. Called "The King of Suburbia" or "Inventor of the Suburb," he created affordable living out of planned communities after WWII. The Levitt housing empire came to include over 180,000 homes. The theme song to Weeds, "Little Boxes," was originally written about Levitt communities.
Mixed age
A point in Jane Jacobs book, "mixed age" referred to one of Jacobs' four major ideas regarding urban design. Jacobs was essentially establishing the idea that if buildings were mixed together in age and condition, including a strong portion of older buildings, then a more diverse economic grid would be developed. A forced mixing of age with increase wider diversity, undeniably linked to an urban community's economic strength... I didn't read all of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, so this is primarily pulled from the brief sections I did read + notes from my discussion section on Jacobs.
Emily Roebling
Emily Roebling was the wife of Washington Roebling, and one of the three credited builders of the Brooklyn Bridge. The construction of the bridge began with John August Roebling, Emily's father-in-law, who proposed the plan for an "East River Bridge" in 1867. He oversaw the beginning of the construction before his death in 1869. His son, Washington, then took over as Chief Engineer. Washington was very involved in the construction and suffered from the bends after inspecting one of the caissons in 1872. He was bedridden, but able to view the Brooklyn Bridge construction through the window of their Columbia Heights home. He then relayed directions to his wife Emily, who in turn gave them to the workers. The bridge opened on May 24, 1883, and the three Roeblings are given the credit for building the bridge. From here you can either talk about the importance of Emily Roebling as a woman to have achieved such success in a field utterly dominated by men, or you can discuss the importance of the Brooklyn Bridge as a link between Manhattan and Brooklyn, an engineering marvel, and its universally-recognized beautifulousness.
Andrew Jackson Downing
Downing is the famous landscape architect who believed in creating openness in commercial cities. His only work in NYC is the Cemetery of the Evergreens on the order between Brooklyn and Queens, but his original call for a large, centrally located park in NYC became the basis for Calvert Vaux (Downing's mentee) and Frederick Law Olmsted's Greensward Plan, which would eventually become Central Park. He has been called the father of American landscape architecture, and Central Park and Greenswood Cemetery in Brooklyn are examples of parks that were heavily inlfuenced by Downing's ideas. The parks are not organized or structured, but allow people to get lost in nature. He was born in 1815 and died in 1852 in a steamboat accident. His influences are important because there was a growth of leisure in the 19th century, and a growing need for places to go. You can talk about the importance of Central Park here too as well.
JP Morgan
If you don't know who JP Morgan is you should probably shoot yourself. Known as one of the "robber barons", Morgan was easily the master of the banking world. In the 1880s and 90s Rockefeller, Huntington, Carnegie, and Armour all relocated to NYC, making it the center of the banking of the world. Many important companies, such as General Electric, International Harvester, U.S. Steel, and American Telephone and Telegraph, were all financed by the "House of Morgan". As for his importance, making NYC into the financial capital of the world is worth noting, I would think.
Timothy D. Sullivan
I actually don't know much about him besides he essentially controlled the Lower East Side and the Bowery as a very prominent figure in Tammany Hall. He was known for being very generous to his impoverished constituents, but at the same time is also famous for being heavily involved in criminal activity. For instance, he was heavily involved in illegal prizefighting which led to its legalization in 1896. So this is all from wikipedia - is there anyone else who knows who this dude was besides being a corrupt Tammany dude?
General Slocum:
The General Slocum was a recreational steamboat that burned on the East River in 1904, killing 1021 of its 2000+ passengers - mostly women and children and members of the St. Marks Lutheran parish. The church had organized a picnic excursion for parishioners to an island up the river; when Captain VanSchaik noticed a fire in the engine room of the boat, he decided to speed up in order to dock upriver. The increased speed, however, merely served to fan the flames and bystanders on the shore and other boats watched as passengers jumped to their deaths in the river.
The General Slocum disaster is closely tied to the story of Kleindeutchland (not on the list of IDs this time) – St. Mark’s served the German-dominated East Village area, and the neighborhood’s German community never recovered from the disaster. Nearly everyone in the community knew victims of the Slocum fire and by 1910, only a handful of German families remained.
President Theodore Roosevelt conducted an investigation of the fire, which led to increased safety regulations.
The Slocum disaster was forgotten relatively quickly, overshadowed by the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in 1911 and the advent of WWI, which largely eradicated sympathy for Germans.
Belle Moskowitz (aka Mrs. M, Moskie, Lady Belle) 1877-1933
Moskowitz was a powerful reformer and close adviser to New York Governer and 1928 Presidential candidate Al Smith – “possessed more power and influence than any woman in the United States” (Caro 91). Headed Governor’s State Reconstruction Commission for reorganization of state’s administrative machinery and social welfare reforms and appointed Robert Moses as Chief of Staff – Moskowitz credited with giving Moses his start in government.
Reform accomplishments:
- Successfully altered conditions in LES “dancing academies” (basically brothels where teenaged garment factory workers hung out). After discovering that many of the “academies” were owned by extensions of Tammany, told Tammany she would protect owners’ names if regulatory legislation was passed and strictly enforced (1909)

- Worked on Factory Commission to implement factory reforms after Triangle Shirtwaist fire (1911)
One Mile
- Around 1900 the nickname of the stretch along Broadway and 6th Ave from 10th to 23rd St, where there were more and better department stores than anywhere in the world.

- Revolution of the department store in 1846 – stores in the past were specialized and goods were brought through one-on-one arrangements. New stores sold a variety of pre-made goods that had low prices and were accompanied by large-scale advertisements.

- Represented “feminization” of central business district à shopping became the realm of women and women now had reasons to be in the heart of the city, which had previously only been used for men’s business activities.
Lillian Edelstein
Rose up against Robert Moses for the Cross Bronx Expressway
Was unsuccessful
it was a neighborhood dominated by working-class Jews who had been reared in the socialist and radical political movements of the early twentieth century.
Like many of her neighbors, Edelstein had deep roots in East Tremont
an alternate plan, which would redirect its path two blocks south,
She organized fundraisers and rallies, galvanized local businesses, and preached her cause on local radio stations.
It remains a puzzle why Robert Moses insisted on taking the expressway straight through the center of East Tremont
Home Owners’ Loan Corporation
was a New Deal agency established in 1933 by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation Act
Its purpose was to refinance home mortgages currently in default to prevent foreclosure.
Through its work it granted long term mortgages to over a million people facing the loss of their homes.
HOLC was only applicable to nonfarm homes, worth less than $20,000.
Tompkins Square
Tompkins Square Park is located on land near the East River,
In 1863 the deadly Draft Riots occurred in the park.[
a lot of homeless people in the 80s
air shafts
Balloon frame construction
quick and cheap to build
helped build up the burbs
added to the American dream
large houses
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