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The Five Points - Neighborhood in New York City

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The Five-Points

The Five points was a neighborhood in New York City that was developed in the 1820s. It was famous slum in the middle of the intersection of Anthony, Orang, Mulberry, Cross and Little Water and the eastern corner of a public park called "Paradise Square. The name "Five Points" came from the five corners at the intersection.

Before the five points there was an underground spring lake which was called "Collect Pond". The Collect Pond was an important source of fresh water for the residents of New York. During the 1700s the Collect Pond became suffered from pollution and the water it produces was no longer usable. This was a result of many tanneries and breweries that surrounded the pond. Soon after the pollution build up the City had begun to drain the Collect Pond and filled it with even more garbage and construction debris. After the body of water was gone and the land filled up the area started to flood. The water had nowhere to go this cause health concerns. In 1807 the City had drafted a plan to build a canal that would drain out all the water from the area. In 1811 all water from the Collect Pond was drained out. The land was used to build a prison call "The Tomb" in 1838. The canal was covered in 1821 and used as an underground sewer. The location of the canal is what we now know as Canal Street.

The job that was done to get rid of the Collect Pond was very poor there was much seepage which causes the area to be swampy and infested with insects. This cause the land value to drop severely and majority of middle class residents and upper classmen left the area. The area was soon filled with immigrants, lower class people, and newly emancipated African Americans.

The five points is said to have to highest murder rate of slums in the world. There was a tenement that housed a thousand people which was called The Old Brewery. For fifteen years straight there was a murder every night until it was demolished in 1852. They were troubled by a lot of gang violence. The three major gangs were the Bowery Boys, Roach guards, and The Dead Rabbits.

Recent Issues

The five points is now known as "Chinatown" and has been going through a few issues. All of the issues now are about zoning and rezoning. There are no gangs as of 2010 and violence has been absent from the area since the early 1800s and late 1860s. Chinatown did however experience a scare in 2003.

Chinatown was affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks because of how close it is from ground zero. Many businesses and tourism were very slow after the attacks. After the attacks the New York City Police Department closed Park Row which was one of the most major roads joining the Financial Center



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