Mulberry Street in 1888: Gothamist

Photo vantage point is at 59½ Mulberry Street. The wood-sided tenements on the left were torn down to build Columbus Park.

The photo comes from Jacob Riis’s 1890 classic “How the Other Half Lives,” “an early publication…documenting squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s.”

Author and photographer Riis was described as “one of the first muckrakers”, a journalist and social commentator with a progressive but also polarizing viewpoint, dividing the poor into deserving and undeserving. His unflinching photo essay “How the Other Half Lives” is in the public domain, and you can download the full book here.

Classic Photo: Lower Manhattan Was Terrifying In 1888: Gothamist.


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