120 West 16th Street

Passed by a beautiful, quirky building on 16th Street. It looks like it’s completely under construction/renovation, but I googled it and saw I could rent a two bedroom in there for $4,295 a month. It’s just impossible to be a poor person these days.

Ironically, this place was originally built to help poor people, and women in particular! A group of wealthy women got together in the 19th century to help indigent women of their time. Instead of giving out money they had this place built to teach them needlecraft. They called it The New York House and School of Industry. Imagine going back to tell the women struggling to find a way to get by that people would pay $4,295 a month to live right where they were working, and in a small section of where they were working?

You can get more history about the building here. And also shots of the entire thing. I couldn’t get the shots I wanted, but here are a couple of details.

The door. Blue, blue, love this blue.


And above the door. Lately I seem to be focusing on the small details that never seem to be included anymore.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

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