Flophouse, by David Isay and Stacy Abramson, photographs by Harvey Wang

When Paul Tillich joined the faculty of New York City's Union Theological Seminary in early 1934, the Bowery of the Lower East Side was in full flower. It was the world's most famous skid row. From the end of the 19th century to the post-World War II era, anywhere from 25,000 to 75,000 men called home. Now only 1,000 remain. David Isay and Stacy Abramson have captured this ebbing culture in a series of interviews at four of the lingering flophouses: the Sunshine, the White House (its name possibly referring to a now-defunct policy of whites only), the Andrews and the Providence.

 

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