Immigrant Housing

Conditions of housing (dens) in Chinatown published in The Wave, ca. 1900
Courtesy of Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

The white community in San Francisco would often categorize the Chinese as disease carriers, condemning Chinatown as a “laboratory of infection” –particularly during the bubonic plague epidemic in 1900.

New immigrants from Eastern Europe, as they struggled to find work and assimilate, often lived in crowded, sub-standard housing.

Buch Alley in Pittsburgh, ca. 1903
Courtesy of Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts; Social Museum Collection, 3.2002.41.1