How the Tenement Changed--Bathrooms

School sink style privies similar to the ones in the backyard of 97 Orchard Street
Showing Picture 1 of 8
Back Next

3 to 6 outhouses. All in the backyard. That was it for toilets when 97 Orchard opened in 1863.

It may sound primitive today, but outdoor toilets were the norm in 19th-century tenements. In fact, there were no laws governing toilets or any other aspect of tenement construction until the 1867 Tenement House Act.

Yet 97 Orchardís outdoor toilets were quite sophisticated for the time: they were connected to a common waste vault and even included a sluicing system for flushing waste into a public sewer line.

Still, indoor toilets have their advantages...when were they installed in 97 Orchard?