American Woman's Home - the City

"It is in hope and anticipation of such a 'revival' of the true, self-denying spirit of Christ and of his earnest followers, that plans have been drawn for simple modes of living, in which both labor and economy may be practiced for benevolent ends, and yet without sacrificing the refinements of high civilization. One method is exhibited in the first chapters, adapted to country residence. In what follows will be presented a plan for a city home, having the same aim." [Beecher/Stowe, 441.]

In their design proposal for the city tenement Beecher and Stowe emphasize "economy of labor and time by the selection and close packing of conveniences, and also economy of health by a proper mode of warming and ventilation." [Beecher/Stowe, 441.]

"Fig. 71 is the ground plan of a city tenement occupying two lots of twenty-two feet front, in which there can be no side windows; as is the case with most city houses. There are two front and two back parlors, each twenty feet square, with a bedroom and kitchen appended to each: making four complete sets of living-rooms. A central hall runs from basement to roof, and is lighted by skylights. There is also a ventilating recess running from basement to roof with whitened walls, and windows opening into it secure both light and air to the bedrooms. On one end of this recess is a trash-flue closed with a door in the basement, and opening into each story, which must be kept closed to prevent an upward draught, causing dust and light articles to rise. At the other end is a dumb-waiter, running from cellar to roof, and opening into the hall of each story. Four chimneys are constructed near the centre of the house, one for each suite of rooms..." [Beecher/Stowe, 441-2.]

"Fig. 72 shows one side of the parlor, giving a series of sliding-doors, behind which are hooks, shelves, and "shelf-boxes," as described earlier in the book." [Beecher/Stowe, 444.]
"Fig. 73 represents another side of the same room where ar two large windows, each having a cushioned seat in its recess, (although one may be coccupied by a stove, as described above. A Study-table with drawers on both the front and back sides furnishes large accommodations for many small articles." [Beecher/Stowe, 445.]