Alone Together: A History of New York's Early Apartments

Alone Together: A History of New York's Early Apartments

by Elizabeth Collins Cromley
     
 

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Twentieth-century New York is now famous as the city of "cliff dwellers," but in the second half of the nineteenth century, middle-class apartments in Manhattan were a new—and somewhat suspect—architectural form. Alone Together presents a history of the "invention" of New York apartment houses.

Overview

Twentieth-century New York is now famous as the city of "cliff dwellers," but in the second half of the nineteenth century, middle-class apartments in Manhattan were a new—and somewhat suspect—architectural form. Alone Together presents a history of the "invention" of New York apartment houses.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"After the Civil War, New York City developed an architectural form new to North America—a building designed as a multiple dwelling for middle-class families. The author chronicles the technological and the social evolution of the apartment house. . . . Along the way, she describes the domestic manners of New Yorkers of every class, from tenement-dwellers to the inhabitants of luxury apartments, and their rising expectations (indoor plumbing, for example) over a period of fifty years."—The New Yorker

"Cromley has done a superb job of describing the initial resistance to collective living, how architects attempted to solve the problem of domestic privacy, and how apartment living revolutionized traditional housekeeping activities. Particularly fascinating are her insights into how families adapted to the new form of housing and how the apartment building of today evolved."—Library Journal

"Cromley explores in words, vintage photographs and architects' drawings the evolution of the Big Apple's apartment blocks. . . . More than just architectural history, this is a glimpse at the evolution of American urban culture."—Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
This informative, scholarly study traces the evolution of the New York apartment building as a specific building type from its somewhat disreputable roots in Europe in the mid-19th century to its overwhelming acceptance by the general populace just 50 years later. Cromley has done a superb job of describing the initial resistance to collective living, how architects attempted to solve the problem of domestic privacy, and how apartment living revolutionized traditional housekeeping activities. Particularly fascinating are her insights into how families adapted to this new form of housing and how the apartment building of today evolved. This well-illustrated volume should be of interest to social and architectural historians alike.-- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801486135
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.20(d)

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