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Photographer's Note

In a previous post I mentioned a street called The Bowery. It's one of the oldest streets in Manhattan, passing through the East Village, the Lower East Side, and Chinatown. Along the way you'll find a mix of gritty alleys, tenement buildings, upscale condos, and fancy boutiques.


From the 1870's to the 1980's, The Bowery was known for being an area frequented by people with substance-abuse problems, and a large homeless population. Some of that demographic still exists, but things have changed in the past fifteen years, and gentrification has set in.

Despite the recent changes, one landmark in this area still remains, and it still serves the neediest members of the community.

The Bowery Mission is a rescue mission and men's shelter that was founded in 1879. It provides food, medical services and employment assistance. At night The Bowery Mission opens its chapel as an emergency shelter for homeless men. It also offers a long-term residential program based on Christian values.

The Mission's building was designated a New York City landmark in 2012. This 1876, five-story, red-brick, Tudor-Revival building was originally a coffin factory, and it has housed the Bowery Mission since 1909. An eye-catching feature on this façade are the stained-glass windows. They illustrate the parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son.

This building serves an important function, and is also one of the more charming structures along The Bowery. All around The Bowery Mission, chic condos, hotels, and galleries have gone up. You will see homeless men sitting on the sidewalk while young, fashionable people walk by, creating a very stark contrast.

In the WS is a closer view of the windows.

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Additional Photos by Brenda Elaine (worldcitizen) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1757 W: 281 N: 3409] (12698)
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