Coney Island exhibit shows how fresh air saved thousands of immigrant lives

May 26, 2019 267

BY: Scott Enman

A new exhibit opening Saturday in Coney Island brings to light a bygone era when the seaside neighborhood was instrumental in saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrants. From the 1870s to the 1920s, immigrant women and children would come to live in nonprofit summer homes to escape the disease-filled tenement houses of the Lower East Side and elsewhere.

The immigrants, many of whom were sick, would come to the neighborhood for its fresh air and would see their health improve immediately. “It’s an unknown part of history,” Charles Denson, executive director of the Coney Island History Project and curator of “Salvation by the Sea,” told the Brooklyn Eagle. “These immigrant summer homes for poor women and children saved thousands and thousands of lives. 

Read more


You may be interested