Cultural Watch

MAP: Discover the Hidden History of New York’s First Sex Districts

(DNAINFO)  Julia Bottles and Nigel Chiwaya | March 9, 2016

DNAinfo mapped more than 400 illegal brothels operating in Lower Manhattan during the 19th century.

More than 100 years ago, the streets of SoHo, Chelsea, Flatiron and Gramercy — now home to some of the city’s most expensive real estate — were so packed with brothels that a single block could be home to more than a dozen houses of ill repute.

Sex workers have been operating illegally in New York since before the Revolutionary War. In the early 19th century, prostitutes worked in Five Points — above present day City Hall Park — and along the East River. But it wasn’t until the middle of that century that prostitution concentrated in SoHo and formed the city’s first sex district.

Source: MAP: Discover the Hidden History of New York’s First Sex Districts – Flatiron – DNAinfo.com New York