The lanes of
Starting with the Civil War housing crisis, builders crammed scores of dwellings into tight spaces such as these. Most dwellings lacked running water, plumbing or electricity and they quickly became dilapidated. Yet the need for shelter was desperate. In 1908 more than 300 people filled Blagden Alley dwellings, averaging 7 per household and paying $6 per month.
New alley dwelling construction was outlawed in 1934 and many alleys were cleared of housing. But some alleys lingered, attracting prostitutes, gamblers, drug dealers and speakeasies. Others though were tightly knit communities where people who just happened to be poor looked out for one another.
Since the 1980’s the alley’s small dwellings, former carriage barns and horse stalls have housed arti
From Cultural Tourism. DC 2006