New Yorkers have long ago made peace with quirky apartment features.
But for people not as familiar with New York City real estate, this shower in the kitchen might look pretty bizarre.
A recent Padmapper listing, spotted by Gothamist, shows a one bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side with a shower in the kitchen. It’s renting for $US1,795 a month, though the listing agent Lorence Dippolito writes that the price is negotiable.
People on Twitter are understandably confused by the set up.
Though not ideal by modern standards, these apartments with showers or even tubs in the kitchen are not as uncommon as one might expect.
When New York tenement buildings were first built in the 1800s, they did not have running water. After the Tenement House Act of 1901 passed, which required all residences to have running water, apartments were renovated with pipes for kitchen sinks.
Almost 30 years later when the Multiple Dwelling Law of 1929 was enacted, it said that “Every wash basin, bath, shower, sink and laundry tub shall be provided with an adequate supply of hot and cold water.” Again landlords were required to update their buildings, but as The New York Times writer Alice Feiring pointed out in a 2004 article, cheap landlords looking to save money realised they would only have to install one set of water pipes instead of two if they kept the sinks and tubs in the same room.
Finally by 1969, Local Law 77 passed which allowed bathtubs to be built in an enclosed space provided that ventilation was adequate. Landlords and buildings renovated apartments to meet this new “modern” standard (plus have a reason to jack up rent costs) with many buildings getting rid of kitchen bathtubs and showers altogether.
Of course, a few of these oddities remain as a reminder of what living in the city was once like. And though not everyone enjoys it, some New Yorkers find the experience quite intimate and cosy. As NYTimes writer Feiring wrote:
For wine tastings or dinner parties, it’s indispensable. My dining table is an arm’s reach away, and the tub provides ample space for overflow of dishes or for next course storage; no conventional breakfront could be as functional or multifunctional. At the risk of sounding clichéd, there’s no better ice bucket for a methuselah of Champagne.
Only in New York.
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