URBANIZATION & NEW YORK CITY PATRICIA FONSECA MARCH 12, 2012 HISTORY 141 COURSE 31136 PROFESSOR ARGUELLO
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW 1865-1898• Central Park had become a place to breathe and relax within the busy city. By 1870, Central Park had become the center of a battle between who would control New York.• 1865-1898, the divide between the wealthy and poor was great. New York had the highest concentration of wealthy as well as the highest concentration of poor. Disease, crime, and prostitution was overwhelming in some of the areas.• New York saw a financial boom after the Civil War. The Stock Exchange took off. Oil, steel , and the railroads brought an unprecedented industrial explosion to New York. Brooklyn was growing at the same rate as the city.• Brooklyn Bridge was built to link Brooklyn to New York as it was perceived that New York was running out of space to grow. Brooklyn seemed as if it would be the new city and New York in turn would be the suburbs.• Corruption in New York was prominent and extended to the politicians in Tamney Hall as well as the citizens..• Boss Tweed was the first politician to take advantage of public works. He took bribes, he used his insider knowledge to buy up real estate before prices skyrocketed, and stole over $50 million.
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW 1865-1898• Contractors were paying him kickbacks for jobs. As Tweed continued his corruption, project prices started to spiral out of control, such as Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge.• Political cartoonists took notice and started to attack the Tweed ring of corruption. 1871, disgruntled contractors turned in Boss Tweed who was indicted on three counts of fraud and grand larceny. He was sentenced 12 years in prison. His assets were seized. He escaped to Spain but was quickly recaptured and returned to prison after being recognized from the cartoons. He died in prison. The poor were left to fend for themselves after Tweed’s imprisonment.• As immigrants continued to swarm in from the waterfront, the tenements started to fill up quickly.• Al Smith grew up on the waterfront, watching the Brooklyn Bridge being built. He would become one of the strongest politicians of his time.• 1873, Wall Street starts to falter as businesses start to go bankrupt. Credit freezes up. Factory owners don’t have money coming in. Employee pay is cut or they are laid off altogether. Employees don’t have any income and can’t buy any goods. Demand dries up. Other factories in turn have to start laying off workers to adjust to the lower demand level of their goods. The work on the Brooklyn Bridge slowly continued.
SUNSHINE AND SHADOW 1865-1898• J. P. Morgan became the leader in the transformation of American capitalism , making him the most powerful man in America. He turned around the Wall Street crisis. Morgan’s plan was to take all of the small competing firms and unite them into one large corporation. He birthed a corporate economy. His power grew but by 1882, the depression had ended.• 1882, Edison created the first electrical power plant in the world.• The Brooklyn Bridge is completed and opens up in 1883.• After the death of his father, Al Smith took control of his family. He worked hard, providing for his family. Tamney members started to take notice of Al Smith.• The rich elite from Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg and other areas started to converge on New York. The inpouring of these rich elites quickly renovated the city and created a larger gap between the rich and the poor.• The slums of the lower east side wasn’t improving at all. The threat of disease was great. The poor were ill fed and clothed. Epidemics raged.
THE POWER AND THE PEOPLE 1898-1914• Large amounts of immigrants flooded the city from the 1880’s to the 1920’s. Fewer than 1 in 50 were denied access to America. 1 in 4 settled in Manhattan.• The buildings associated with this time were revolutionary. The electric elevator and steel made skyscrapers that are commonly associated with Manhattan possible.• Space became a major issue for Manhattan as the number of corporations increased. The reasonable solutions seemed to be to build up.• Manhattan became cutting edge in architectural aspects.• Neighborhoods were continuously changing in response to the influx of immigrants. New York never had a single dominant culture. New York was always known for welcoming newcomers.• By 1905, 4 out of 5 New Yorkers were either children of immigrants or immigrants themselves. New York was a sort of foreign country.• People of different cultures and class were all coming into the neighborhoods.
THE POWER AND THE PEOPLE 1898-1914• Many of the immigrants were surprised at the poor living conditions of the lower east side. Many Italians, Germans, and Jews crowded tenements within these neighborhoods.• They were desperate to better their living conditions. Peddlers sold goods on the streets. Any work that was offered was accepted in order to survive. Immigrants made great adjustments.• The Jewish immigrants had better conditions. They came to America with trade skills and more money than other immigrants had. The Italians also were able to better their status quickly. The different cultures did tend to clash but those rivalries were quickly squashed as the children started to marry each other.• The creation of the subway system allowed rapid travel within the city that distributes throughout the different boroughs.• The gap between the rich and the poor. The reform movement started. Progressive politicians, church leaders and immigrants all threw themselves into the housing reform. Theodore Roosevelt as the governor of New York supported the housing reform movements.• 1/10 of the entire industrial materials of the United States were coming from New York. People in these sweat shops and factories were working under very brutal conditions.
THE POWER AND THE PEOPLE 1898-1914• Reformers were demanding the government step in. No changes were made. Small strikes were ignored. Frustrations grew. 3,000 women met at the Great Hall of Cooper Union to contemplate a general strike. Clara Lemlich convinced more than 15,000 workers to strike. 5,000 more joined within days. This was the first successful union power.• Triangle Waist Company experienced a devastating fire. The exists were locked from the outside. The scene was horrifying as many of the women trapped on the 8th floor started to leap from the window to their death. In half an hour, nearly 150 women died that day. The two owners were put on trial for manslaughter but weren’t held accountable because they hadn’t broken any laws.• Out of this tragedy evolved an important political transformation: social welfare legislation.• Charlie Murphy understood the demographics of his would be supporters were changing and he needed to adapt his political ideas to survive. He supported the call for an investigation into factories. He put Al Smith in charge of the 4 year investigation. Smith was the face of social welfare reform. Landmark laws changed the brutal conditions of factories.
A MERGER THAT PUTS NEW YORK ON TOP• New York has remained the national industrial economic leader and the merger of America Online with Time Warner could create the world’s leading media-entertainment company. The CEO of the new company that will be running day-to-day operations will be holding office in New York.• New York has struggled to regain position as the commercial center of the nation, as well as the cultural and economic center of the world’s most influential nation.• The Erie Canal put New York as an economic power to control exports while the “triangle trade” controlled the cotton trade between the South and England. With the discovery of electricity, the telephone, etc. Manhattan became the headquarters of the major corporations bringing the city a commercial boom in terms of media and advertising. It allowed New York to financially profit from companies that started in other regions.• New York’s obstacle now will be to dominate the benefits that are created by the internet which doesn’t occupy any real space.
THE CITY IN THE LAND OF THE DOLLAR• After Chicago experienced it’s devastating fire in 1871, land developers, builders, and architects were able to rebuild the new city from scratch. A whole different city from the one that burnt was created.• With the creation and implementation of electric trolley cars and railroads, the city soon expanded out into the surrounding areas. With the creation of elevators, the ability to build skyscrapers was apparent.• Lightweight structural steel enabled architects to create buildings more than the practical height limit of 12 stories.• Steel frames were also cheaper and more efficient.• Skyscrapers increased the value of real estate. With lower buildings and cheap land, the center of cities were a mixture of commercial, residential, and industrial uses.• Low-paid factory workers lived in tenements close to where they worked. Higher paid employees were able to afford to move to new neighborhoods and travel into the city for work.
THE CITY IN THE LAND OF THE DOLLAR• These neighborhoods were mostly residential but the city limits kept expanding and soon the residential feeling was lost.• These modern cities differed from European cities in that Americans went downtown to work, visit, shop, and eat but lived elsewhere.• Chicago was the fastest growing city in the world at this time. People were drawn to the city with the promise of work in the stores, offices, factories, warehouses slaughterhouses, breweries, and railroad yards.• To put itself on the cultural map, Frederick Law Olmsted was hired to create large urban parks.• He believed that the industry driven city was in need of lush green spaces of natural landscape to be used by the public. They weren’t just fashionable promenades.• The area he created is 1,800 acres and consists of eight individual parks all named after former presidents. They include lakes, canals, sports fields, band shells, conservatories, arbors, zoos, bicycle and pedestrian paths, and broad carriage roads.
THE CITY IN THE LAND OF THE DOLLAR• Olmsted linked the park with parkways which were linear parks that brought parks closer to more people, further reduced urban congestion, directed urban growth, and provided an attractive setting for new residential developments.• The World’s Columbian Exposition in the summer of 1893 was a spectacular combination of naturalistic and formal landscaping combined with grand public buildings.• Building large cities on grids was oppressive. Residents longed for planned avenues and squares similar to those in London, Paris, and Rome. Olmsted, Burnham, McKim, Hunt and Saint-Gaudens believed in the value of learning from the great urban achievements of the past. They wanted to build classical cities in America.• The project took three years and cost an estimated $70,000. Burnham volunteered his time for free.• The transformation of North Michigan Avenue illustrates the dilemma of urban design in terms of high land values and the control over development.