City photo
Fifth Avenue NY

In 1869 the first apartment building the French flats in New York were built. At first apartment buildings were designed for the wealthy. They included all the latest amenities, including by the end of the 1880's electricity. While the apartment buildings began small, they slowly grew into block wide multistory buildings with elevators. Apartment buildings soon spread to the working poor as well. Unlike the amenities of the homes for the wealthy, these apartments had fewer amenities and usually consisted of three or four rooms.
Despite the rise in apartment buildings, most people preferred to live in single family homes. In 1886 a one-story frame house with a parlor, a kitchen and two bedrooms cost $600. For twice that price a worker could buy a two-story house twice the size.