Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 397
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 397
have been formed to put up bars against the slum where it roamed unrestrained; the Tenement House Department has been organized and got under way, and the knell of the double-decker and the twenty-five-foot lot has been sounded. Two hundred tenements are going up to-day under the new law, that are in all respects model buildings, as good as the City and Suburban Home Company’s houses, though built for revenue only. All over the greater city the libraries are rising which, when Mr. Carnegie’s munificent plan has been worked out to the full, are to make, with the noble central edifice in Bryant Park, the greatest free library system of any day, with a princely fortune to back it. 1 New bridges are spanning our rivers, tunnels are being bored, engineers are blasting a way for the city out of its bonds on crowded Manhattan, devotion and high principle rule once more at the City Hall, Cuba is free, Tammany is out; the boy is coming into his rights; the toughs of Hell’s Kitchen have taken to farming on the site of Stryker’s Lane, demolished and gone.
  And here upon my table lies a letter from the head-worker of the University Settlement, which the
Note 1. The Astor, Lenox, and Tilden foundations represent a total of some seven millions of dollars. The great central library, erected by the city, is to cost five millions, and the fifty branches for which the city gives the sites and Andrew Carnegie the buildings, 5,200,000. The city’s contribution for maintenance will be over half a million yearly. [ back ]



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