New York Challenged
The Citys Response to Crisis and Change from Colonial Times
In the 1880s the torch
of slum reform was passed to the muckrakers, specifically the crusading
journalist Jacob Riis. As a police reporter for the Tribune and the Associated
Press, Riis saw firsthand the suffering of those living in the "foul
core of New Yorks slums," what was called "Mulberry Bend,"
the area immediately north of what remained of the Five Points. His searing
exposés of conditions in "the Bend" for the Tribune soon
led to the appointment of a new Tenement House Commission in 1884, which
included housing philanthropist Alfred T. White who remarked at one session
that profitable, well-constructed tenements were the solution, "it
was just a question whether a man would take seven percent and save his
soul, or twenty five and lose it
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