Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09
Mentor: Matthew Aldredge
East Side: A Historical and Social Overview
reason I chose this topic for my Senior Project was because I knew a great
amount of historical background about New
York City. I still was unsure about certain areas of
the city, such as the Lower East Side, which
has seen so much rapid change within the last few years. Not only is it one of
the most rapidly transforming neighborhoods in New York, it also remains one of the most
historical and integrated portions of the city. I created a book that shows
various pictures of the Lower East Side from
the 1850s all the way up to current changes due to gentrification. I also
focused on creating a unification collage of various menus from all the
neighborhood restaurants that show the diversity of such a small area. The
pictures used are personal photographs and pictures that I was able to gather
from the internet.
(1, 2, 3,
project mainly centered around
the Lower East Side and focused mainly on
two areas of study of the neighborhood. These two subjects are the history of
the neighborhood and it being considered the true center of the American Melting
Pot moving through the both World Wars and then continuing through to the Post
World War decline of many American Cities traveling through the introduction of
gentrification to where the neighborhood stands today at the forefront of
becoming apart of the Lower Manhattan Scene or what most consider SOHO. The
other area of study is the focus of gentrification and the role that is having
on the neighbor. The main study for the historical portion was to better
understand the history that took place between the immigration period in the
late 1800s to the current time with the rapid gentrification and expansion of
Condominiums in the neighborhood. The second portion of my study was the focus
of the rapid gentrification that was occurring in the neighborhood and
documenting the effects of the neighborhood and the changes that have occurred
this includes new high end
hotels and cafes and numerous new restaurants and shops. The historical potion
of my project was researching and gathering information on the historical
significance the neighborhood had when it was especially a center of
immigration and considered to be the most densest part of the world and to be the unofficial
capital of the melting pot. The historical photographs that I gathered included
numerous depictions of how the daily lives of both New Yorkers and Lower Eastsider's would act
my product I wanted to show both a book and a slide show that could be used to
show both my own and historical photographs of the neighborhood. I also
described in my paper the historical background of the neighborhood and certain
aspects that make the neighborhood what's it has been known for such pictures
include street life in the lower east side. The pictures that I took mainly
focused on was the gentrification of the affects it was taking on people who
were both new to the neighborhood and to the people who were leaving the
neighborhood. I asked an assortment of people about there experience and why they were in
the Lower East Side. I took a number of
pictures of many prominent and famous landmarks in the neighborhood and how
some are endangered to the wrecking ball. I also wanted to show new
landmarks in the neighborhood and with the pictures what its affects had on the
area around it. I felt that his project helped me learn and have a better
understanding on neighborhoods and what can occur in one place such as the Lower East Side.
American Studies Today Online. 2000. Viewed 2008. <http://www.americans.org.uk/online/gentrifying_the_lower_east_side.htm>.
Dolkart, Andrew. Biography Of A Tenement House: An Architectural
History of 97 Orchard Street.
Santa Fe: The
Center For American Places, 2007.
Jerilou Hamett and Kingsley.
The Suburbanization of New York:
Is the World's Greatest City Becoming Just Another Town?. New York:
Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.
Kenneth and Hilary Ballon.
Robert Moses And The Modern City: The Transformation of New York. New York: W.W Norton & Company, 2007.
Kroesseler, Jeffery A. New
York Year by Year: A Chronology Of The Great
Metropolis. New York: New York University
East Side District Management Association,Inc. Lower East Side Business Improvement District.
17 Dec. 2008. Viewed
Oct.-Dec. 2008. <http://www.lowereastsideny.com>.
Lower East Side Tenement
Museum. Tenement Museum.
2008. Viewed Oct.-Dec. 2008 <http://www.tenement.org/>.
Community Member (Details)
Outside Consultant: For my
project I choose Andrew Meyers as my outside consultant. Mr. Meyers is
currently the head of the history department for the Fieldston
School in New York. He also is one of the tour guides
for Big Onion and also teaches the Urban Case Study Class for the Columbia