a small building found in New York City, especially in New Yorks Lower East Side. Tenements are usually no more than five stories high, with narrow staircases and tiny apartments. Tenaments were home to many european immigrants during the 19th century. Most tenements were built no later that 1910, and often have features such as hexagonal tial floors charachteristic of that time. Unsafe conditions, especially overcrowding in the tenements caused a lot of sickness and death amoung immigrants, and in 1863, new "tenemant laws" were passes stating things like, all apartments must have windows. Tenaments are very specific to the Lower East Side, but can also be found in east harlem, and other parts of NYC.
by miss nightlights July 02, 2006