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Today's Featured Building: Amalgamated Dwellings

AmalgamatedDwellings-NYC-Exterior.jpg

When completed in 1930, the Amalgamated Dwellings cooperative housing project was the first of many future cooperatives to be constructed in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It drew upon the success of the cooperative development in the Bronx with a similar name, the Amalgamated Cooperative Apartment House. Appalled by the tenement conditions in which people lived, Abraham E. Kazan, president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACW) Credit Union, who financed the two Amalgamated projects, sought to provide affordable housing for workers and their families in a cooperative community. He was convinced that substandard housing directly affected the morale, health, and social conditions of those within it. He also believed that poor quality conditions would result in juvenile delinquency, crime, disease, and other social crises.

The ACW was headed by Sidney Hillman, for whom Hillman Cooperative Houses was named, and financially driven by Abraham Kazan. Together, they were responsible for the creation of thousands of cooperative housing units all over New York and beyond. They are considered among the pioneers of the affordable cooperative housing concept and movement, taking it even further to include cooperative shopping centers with pharmacies, credit unions and optical centers. To bring down the price of power, Kazan was inspired to construct cooperative electric generating power plants. Abraham E. Kazan became the first person in New York's history to have a street named for him within his lifetime.[1]

Amalgamated Dwellings was the first of four cooperative developments to be built along Grand Street. The others are Hillman Cooperative Houses, Seward Park Housing, and East River Housing. Collectively, they provide about 4,447 cooperative housing apartments.

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Cities and Regions:

Region Buildings Housing Units
New York City, NY 625 103,068
Los Angeles, CA 77 10,247
Vancouver, BC 223 39,498
Chicago, IL 51 14,683


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