Author Topic: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's  (Read 3529 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline mrnyc

  • 2717'-Burj Khalifa
  • **********
  • Posts: 8469
    • friends of the highline
what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« on: August 02, 2006, 12:01:58 PM »
i saw this on a blog about the hotel chelsea in manhattan. interesting that it still cost the same comparative arm & a leg that we pay today for rent in manhattan.

for discussion's sake would anyone happen to know typical ohio city rents from back then?


August 02, 2006

Historian Unearths William Dean Howells' Rent Receipt

Sherill Tippins, the author of a forthcoming book on the history of the Hotel Chelsea, has been spending her time visiting the archives of famous former residents.  Among other interesting artifacts, she has been known to find old Hotel Chelsea rent receipts.  Recently she sent us a list of what apartments rented for at the Chelsea when it was first built (late 1800s), along with the conversion rate in today’s dollars:

A 3 to 4 room suite cost about $50-$100 per month, equaling about $1,000 to $2,000 in today's dollars.
An artist's duplex rented for about $100 per month, i.e., $2,000 today.
You could get one of the rambling, 10-12 room apartments for $167 to $250 per month, which translates to $3,000 to $5,000.


Tippins goes on to say, “These prices were considered outrageous, but the Chelsea was built in the midst of a real estate boom and everyone was worried that housing prices were pushing out the middle class. (Not to mention the artists.)  Aside from the fact that the apartments were new then--at the time of the prices I gave you--those rents were also a much smaller part of the renters' income, I think.

William Dean Howells' income was about $850 per month [his salary equaled about $200,000 per year today], so a $250 apartment would have cost less than a third of his monthly nut."



 The writer/editor William Dean Howells wrote to his father, after he rented a place at the Chelsea, "I watch my money flow as a stuck pig its life-stream.  It's horrible to spend so much but I seem bound to it hand and foot." 

William Dean Howells: now there is a writer who you don’t typically associate with the Chelsea. After all, he's not listed on the hotel’s authoritative website. We were thrilled to learn of this connection, and mentioned it to one of our neighbors in passing, and he replied, “Too bad they don’t read him anymore.”   They’ll read him again now that they know he lived at the Chelsea!

August 02, 2006 in Dead Authors, Hotel Chelsea, Living Authors | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

link:
http://legends.typepad.com/living_with_legends_the_h/2006/08/historian_disco.html

btw -- the hotel chelsea looks much the same today as does on this old postcard




"That whole rural thing. It's a joke." Ed Koch

Offline David

  • Premium Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2006, 01:55:12 PM »
Interesting..

MrNyC how much would a typical 1 bedroom apt. run for in the village? Just a basic two room apt with a kitchen and bathroom attached. ? About a grand/month?
Modern architects recognize 300 masterpieces but ignore the other 30 million buildings that have ruined the world. - Andres Duany

Offline StrapHanger

  • 2717'-Burj Khalifa
  • **********
  • Posts: 5965
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2006, 03:34:48 PM »
Don't ask mrnyc - he's a lucky occupant of a rent-controlled apartment if I'm not mistaken...

An unregulated 1br apartment in the village is gonna cost you much much more than a grand a month.  If it's an elevator/doorman building (of which there are relatively few) it will be more like 3-3.5 grand a month.  For a walk-up, maybe somewhere between 2 and 3 grand depending how large and how high up (and the exact location of course).  Market rents have been rising again of late, however, so might be higher now...It's not a pretty situation.
"Cleveland, as you see, is not an apple, but a bunch of grapes each of which has its own particular pattern-some large, others small, some round, others long and narrow, some sweet, others sour, some sound, others rotten throughout."  -Howard Whipple Green, 1932

Offline ink

  • UO Supporting Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5243
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2006, 04:08:16 PM »
Where was William Dean Howells from anyhow?

Offline mrnyc

  • 2717'-Burj Khalifa
  • **********
  • Posts: 8469
    • friends of the highline
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2006, 04:06:05 PM »
^ funny one ink, like so many ny'ers, per wiki howell is an ohio ex-patriot born in martin's ferry, oh.

as sh stated, a gv one bdrm is $2-3k these days if you can wrestle one (they require a realtor finders fee of one month rent, x amount in the bank, x income on your job, a deposit of gold bullion & your 1st born son).

that article just made me wonder what people paid for rent in ohio's cities too in the late 1800's in today's dollar. you never hear about that.


« Last Edit: August 04, 2006, 04:06:34 PM by mrnyc »
"That whole rural thing. It's a joke." Ed Koch

Offline ink

  • UO Supporting Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5243
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2006, 11:33:44 AM »
^He grew up in Hamilton, there are markers all over town indicating places he speaks of in his books.

Offline David

  • Premium Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2006, 11:52:17 AM »
^ funny one ink, like so many ny'ers, per wiki howell is an ohio ex-patriot born in martin's ferry, oh.

as sh stated, a gv one bdrm is $2-3k these days if you can wrestle one (they require a realtor finders fee of one month rent, x amount in the bank, x income on your job, a deposit of gold bullion & your 1st born son).

that article just made me wonder what people paid for rent in ohio's cities too in the late 1800's in today's dollar. you never hear about that.



Do jobs in NYC pay significantly more money?
Modern architects recognize 300 masterpieces but ignore the other 30 million buildings that have ruined the world. - Andres Duany

Offline mrnyc

  • 2717'-Burj Khalifa
  • **********
  • Posts: 8469
    • friends of the highline
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2006, 01:22:26 PM »
^ david, yes in business, no for typical city jobs. depends what you do for a living. but the point being contrary to popular belief the pay is not higher flatly across the board.

^He grew up in Hamilton, there are markers all over town indicating places he speaks of in his books.

yay! and now for your homework...toni morrison  :wink:
« Last Edit: August 06, 2006, 01:25:17 PM by mrnyc »
"That whole rural thing. It's a joke." Ed Koch

Offline MyTwoSense

  • 40+ and Fly
  • 2717'-Burj Khalifa
  • **********
  • Posts: 20825
  • back with a vengeance!
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2006, 01:48:50 PM »
^ david, yes in business, no for typical city jobs. depends what you do for a living. but the point being contrary to popular belief the pay is not higher flatly across the board.

Yeah its a catch 22.  In banking, NYC pays the most in the country, but I know lawyers and doctors in Metro Cleveland which make more.  Service industry jobs seem to be about the same.

However, there are vast differences in adminstrative jobs.  My assistant in Cleveland only makes about 50k where as my assitants in NYC make well above 80k (not including OT)
my 2 ˘     Please Sell Crazy Someplace Else....We Have Excess Inventory Here!!

Offline StrapHanger

  • 2717'-Burj Khalifa
  • **********
  • Posts: 5965
Re: what they paid for rent in the late 1800's
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 03:02:37 PM »
I think the real difference is not that people get paid more for the same job (though that is indeed sometimes the case), it's that there just so many goddamn lawyers and bankers and other high-paid pros that are willing to fork over a high chunk of their salary.  Plus, even today, about half of all rental units in Manhattan are rent-regulated in some fashion which significantly restricts the supply of available units in turn keeping rents on unregulated units higher than they might otherwise be.  Or so say the pinheads. 

Not needing a car helps offset the high rents a bit though.

Now, back to my time travel reasearch to get back to that $100 per month suite...
"Cleveland, as you see, is not an apple, but a bunch of grapes each of which has its own particular pattern-some large, others small, some round, others long and narrow, some sweet, others sour, some sound, others rotten throughout."  -Howard Whipple Green, 1932

Remove Ads