Thursday, July 15, 2010

Elizabeth Street: Kidnapping Sites

Below the address of the Scimeca Family in the 1910 census. 2 Prince is just west of the Bowery.

Below the locale of Laurie Fabiano's great grandparents and grandmother in the book Elizabeth Street.

Below the 1910 census record of Laurie Fabiano's great uncle Lorenzo Costas' family. The address was 180 Prince Street. That's between Sullivan and Thompson.
On Tuesday Laurie mentioned that it was unusual that her family moved to 202 Elizabeth Street. That block was a Sicilian stronghold. Her family was Calabresi. However, the appeal of bathrooms on the floor at 202 Elizabeth Street instead of outhouses on a Calabresi block won out over klan solidarity.
The Tenement Museum encyclopedia discusses this
Little Italies
But many of them did stay, as the numbers above demonstrate, and settled in New York City and the Lower East Side. Italians tended to follow the Irish who had preceded them in both their residential and occupational patterns. They first settled in neighborhoods with some of the oldest housing stock in the city: the notorious Five Points neighborhood between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges (today's Chinatown) and the Fourteenth Ward west of the Bowery (today's Little Italy). They then moved north into present-day SoHo and Greenwich Village. Before long a sizeable Little Italy sprouted uptown between 110th and 120th Streets, east of Fourth Avenue. Eventually, East Harlem became the largest Little Italy in all of New York. While Italians were never a majority on the Lower East Side (always under 10 % of the population), their presence grew steadily from the turn of the century through the 1930s.
Within their neighborhoods, Italians tended to settle next to people from the same regions of Italy. Neapolitans tended to dominate Mulberry Street, the Calabresi claimed Mott Street, and Sicilians - who dominated the Italian immigration after 1900 - took over Elizabeth Street. In fact, immigrants from individual Sicilian towns tended to congregate together on different stretches of Elizabeth Street.

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