A History of Tenement House Legislation in New York 1852-1900 Part X
 

By Lawrence Veiller
 
 

1892) — Chapter 275, Section 34. (Amends Section 498, Consol. Act )

"Every dwelling-house occupied by or built to be occupied by three or more families above the first story, and every building already erected, or that may hereafter be erected, more than three stories in height, occupied and used as a lodging-house, shall be provided with such good and sufficient fire escape's stairways, or other means of egress in case of fire as shall be directed by the superintendent of buildings, and said superintendent shall have full and exclusive power and authority within said city to direct fire escapes and other means of egress to be provided upon and within said buildings or any of them. All buildings requiring fire escapes shall have stationary iron ladders leading to the scuttle opening in the roof thereof, and all scuttles and ladders shall be kept so as to be ready for use at all times."

(1894) — Brooklyn — Chapter 481, Section 28. (Amends Consol Act)

"Every dwelling-house occupied by or built to be occupied by three or more families above the first story, and every building already erected, or that may hereafter be erected more than three stories in height, occupied and used as a lodging-house, shall be provided with such good and sufficient fire escapes, stairways or other means of egress in case of fire as shall be directed by the commissioner of buildings. Said commissioner shall have full and exclusive power and authority within said city to direct fire escapes and other means of egress to be provided upon and within said buildings or any of them, and to direct the same to be repaired, renewed or replaced where they are or become out of repair, unsafe or inadequate."

(1894) —Brooklyn — Chapter 481, Section 28. (Amends Consol. Act.)

" All buildings requiring fire escapes shall have stationary iron ladders leading to the scuttle opening in the roof thereof, and all scuttles and ladders shall be kept so as to be ready for use at all times and easily
accessible to all tenants. If a bulkhead is used in place of a scuttle it shall have stairs; the door in the bulkhead or any scuttle shall, at no time, be locked, but may be fastened on the inside by movable bolts or hooks; and, if a bulkhead, shall have stairs, with hand rail leading to the roof."

(1897) — Chapter 378. Greater New York Charter. Section 1306

"Every such house (tenement and lodging-house) shall be provided with a proper fire escape or means of egress in case of fire, to be approved by the department of buildings."

(1899) —The Building Code — (An ordinance adopted December 2O, 1899).Section 53.

" Fireproof apartment houses or tenement-houses, if constructed entirely in accordance with the requirements of section 105 of this Code for fireproof construction, may be erected to a height not to exceed 150 feet but not more than twelve stories in height upon all streets and avenues exceeding 79 feet in width, and 125 feet but not more than ten stories in height upon all streets and avenues not exceeding 79 feet in width, but any such building when exceeding 100 feet in height shall not be less than 40 feet in width. If any such building shall have a frontage exceeding 40 feet and exceeds 85 feet in height, it shall have at least two separate fireproof stairways, accessible from each apartment, leading from the ground floor to the roof, one of which shall be remote from elevator shafts."

(1899) — The Building Code— (An ordinance adopted December 20, 1899). Section 103.

"Every dwelling-house occupied or built to be occupied by three or more families, shall be provided with such good and sufficient fire escapes, stairways or other means of egress in case of fire as shall be directed by the department of buildings; and said department shall have full and exclusive power and authority within said city to direct fire escapes and other means of egress to be provided upon and within said buildings or any of them."

SCUTTLES AND LADDERS. — A provision that there should be a scuttle in the roof as a means of egress in case of fire was the very first provision enacted in reference to tenement houses, occurring for the first time in the Brooklyn Building Law of 1852. Every law that has been enacted since then has contained a provision upon this subject, the law being slightly changed from time to time, each time being strengthened. The main changes have been one denning the minimum size of the scuttle, and another providing that such scuttle shall be equipped with iron ladders or stairs leading to it, and still other provisions providing that the scuttles in
tenement houses shall never be kept locked, so as to be sure that persons would have a quick means of escape to the roof.

(1852) — Brooklyn — Chapter 355, Section 7.

"Every building hereafter erected or built within the fire limits as aforesaid, shall have a scuttle or place of egress in the roof thereof. All scuttle frames and scuttle doors on every brick or stone dwelling-house or other building hereafter to be erected or built within the fire limits as aforesaid, shall be made of or covered with copper, zinc, tin or iron."

(1860) — Brooklyn — Chapter 474, Section 7. (Repeals Chapter 355 of the Laws of 1862.)

"Every building having scuttles now built or hereafter erected or built, shall have a scuttle or place of egress in the roof thereof with a ladder or stairs placed on the inside. All scuttle frames and scuttle doors on every brick or stone dwelling or other building hereafter to be erected or built within the fire limits shall be made of or covered with copper, tin, zinc or iron."

(1860) —Chapter 470, Section 25.

" In all dwelling-houses which are built for the residence of more than eight families all ladders or stairs from upper stories to scuttles or roofs of any building shall, if movable, be of iron, and if not movable may be of wood ; and all scuttles shall not be less than three feet by two feet.''(1862) — Chapter 356, Section 27. " All dwelling-houses in any part of the city of New York already erected or that may hereafter be built, that now are or may be more than forty feet high, that shall be occupied by or built to contain six or more families above the first story, and all dwelling-houses that shall be occupied by or built to contain eight or more families above the first story, shall have a stairway connected with a proper scuttle or other opening leading to the roof."

(1866) — Chapter 873, Section 23.

" All buildings in the city of New York whether already erected or hereafter to be built shall have scuttle frames and doors or bulkheads leading to the roof, made of or covered with some fireproof material, and shall have stairways or stationary iron ladders leading to the same, and all such scuttles or stairways or ladders leading to the roof shall be kept so as to bo ready for use at all times, and all scuttles shall not be less in size than two feet by three feet."

(1866) — Chapter 873, Section 32.

 " All dwelling-houses in any part of the city of New York already erected, or that may hereafter be built, that now are or may be forty feet high that shall be built to contain or be occupied by six or more families above the first story, and all dwelling-houses that shall be built to contain or occupied by eight or more families above the first story, shall have a stairway connected with a proper scuttle or other opening, leading to the roof."

(1866) — Brooklyn. Chapter 858, Section 7.

" Every building hereafter erected or built within the fire limits shall have a scuttle or place of egress in the roof thereof of proper size, and shall have ladders or stairways leading to the same, and all such scuttles and stairways or ladders leading to the roof shall be kept in readiness for use at all times. All scuttle frames and scuttle doors shall be made of or covered with copper, zinc, tin or iron.

(1867) —Chapter 939, Section 10. (Amends Section 32, Chapter 873, of the Laws of 1866.)

" All dwelling-houses that now are or may hereafter be erected in the city of New York to contain or be occupied by four or more families above the first story, shall have a stairway connected with a proper opening, leading to the roof, and all the rooms on each floor shall connect by doors from front to rear; and every such dwelling-house shall have placed thereon a practical fireproof fire escape, that shall be approved of by the superintendent of buildings, and in no case hereafter shall a front and rear tenement house be erected on the same lot, unless the said houses, and each of them, shall be built fireproof."

(1868) —Chapter 634, Section 2. (Amends Section 10, Chapter 939, of the Laws of 1867.)

"All dwelling-houses now erected, occupied by or built to contain two or more families on any of the floors above the first story, and all dwelling-houses now erected, more than three stories in height occupied by or built to contain four or more families, shall have a stairway connected with a proper bulkhead leading to the roof."


 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: A History of Tenement House Legislation in New York 1852-1900 Part X
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Tenement House Problem; Including the Report of the New York State Tenement House Commission of 1900. By Various Writers; The MacMillan Company-New York 1903
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