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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
image Living Together Speculation in Apartment Houses
Immigrants and Construction
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Speculation in Apartment Houses
Immigrants and Construction
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These apartment houses are the next generation of speculative construction after the row houses. And many of the speculative builders of the row houses were immigrants or the children of immigrants. Lots of Irish immigrants got involved in speculative row-house construction because for speculative construction you didn't need social connections, and all you needed was a little bit of money for a down payment to get going on your project. And apartment buildings are the next wave of this.

Once speculative row-house construction stops, speculative apartment-house construction becomes the new wave. And these, too, attract immigrants and the children of immigrants, but by the early twentieth century when the huge waves of apartment houses are being built, most of the builders are either Italian or Jewish immigrants or their children. And at this time, so were many of the architects who were designing these buildings.

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