Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 166
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 166
wealth and fashion; his woman’s boarding house a great public hotel far beyond the reach of those he sought to benefit. The passing years saw his great house, its wealth, its very name, vanish as if they had never been, and even his bones denied by ghoulish thieves rest in the grave. There is no more pathetic page in the history of our city than that which records the eclipse of the house of Alexander T. Stewart, merchant prince. I like to think of the banker’s successful philanthropy as a kind of justice to the memory of the dead merchant, more eloquent than marble and brass in the empty crypt. Mills House No.1 stands upon the site of Mr. Stewart’s old home, where he dreamed his barren dream of benevolence to his kind.
  His work lies undone yet. While I am writing this, they are putting the roof on a great structure in East Twenty-ninth Street that is to be the “Woman’s Hotel” of the city and bear the name of Martha Washington. It is intended for business and professional women who can pay from seven or eight dollars a week up to almost anything for their board and lodging, and it is expected to fill so great a need as to be commercially profitable at once. That will be well, and we shall all be glad. But who will build the Mills House for lonely girls and women who cannot pay seven or eight dollars a week, and would not go to the Woman’s Hotel if they



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