Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 39
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 39
in the history of New York. They were never reckoned so before; no one ever thought of them as “souls.” So, restored to human fellowship, in the twilight of the air-shaft that had penetrated to their dens, the first Tenement House Committee  1 was able to make them out “better than the houses” they lived in, and a long step forward was taken. The Mulberry Bend, the wicked core of the “bloody Sixth Ward,” was marked for destruction, and all slumdom held its breath to see it go. With that gone, it seemed as if the old days must be gone too, never to return. There would not be another Mulberry Bend. As long as it stood, there was yet a chance. The slum had backing, as it were.
The Rear Tenement grows up. An Alley condemned by the Council of Hygiene.
Professor Felix Adler.
  What was it like? says a man at my elbow, who never saw it. Like nothing I ever saw before, or hope ever to see again. A crooked three-acre lot built over with rotten structures that harbored the
Note 1. The Adler Tenement House Committee of 1884. It was the first citizens’ commission. The legislative inquiry of 1856 was conducted by a Select Committee of the Assembly. [ back ]



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