Episode 21 “The Bowery”; Dr. Robert Aronowitz,
Physician and medical historian, University of Pennsylvania.
“The Bowery is one of the oldest stretches of land in Manhattan, and was once a footpath used by members of the Lenape tribe to transverse Manhattan Island. Once the home of the most affluent members of New York social circles, by the mid 1900’s its streets were occupied by low-brow concert halls, German beer gardens, dime museums, gambling parlors, and brothels.
By the early 1920’s, Bowery neighborhoods became known as the infamous “Skid Row” and whose inhabitants were primarily alcoholic and homeless men. A notorious ‘medical experiment’ was then conducted on hundreds of these men, which came to define how expendable this segment of society had become. Hart Island became the eternal home for many.