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Reading Passage #04: "In the last third of the nineteenth century..."


The Passage in Simple English

TOEFL English


First Paragraph

1st stc In about 1870 to 1900 a new style of house was being developed, but this new style did not receive much publicity.
2nd stc The first apartment building in New York was built in 1869. It was called the Stuyvesant.
3rd stc Rutherfurd Stuyvesant paid for the building to be built and it was designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Richard Morris Hunt was the first American to graduate from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.
4th stc These two men got some of their ideas when they lived in Paris since apartments were already common in Paris. They realized that apartments could be very important in the United States.
5th stc Even though apartments had a lot of potential, they were only a little bit successful.
6th stc Even though the front of the building looked nice, the inside of the apartment was inconvenient.
7th stc So, people who had enough money to live in their own houses stayed in their own houses. Most of the people who moved into the Stuyvesant were young people (like married couples and unmarried people) who could not afford to buy their own, large houses.

Second Paragraph

1st stc The main problem with the first apartment buildings was that there was not enough space to build them in New York since the building spaces that were available were very small.
2nd stc A normal building area was a rectangular shape. The front (facing the street) of the rectangle was 25 feet wide. The rectangle extended 100 feet back from the street. This shape was the perfect shape for another type of house, a row house.
3rd stc This shape was also good for another type of house, a tenement, but it was not good for apartments since the rooms in apartments were supposed to have a lot of light and the rooms in the apartments were supposed to be organized in a convenient way.
4th stc However, apartments became popular even though the inside of the apartments was not convenient.
5th stc There were many people who were looking for places to live that were better than tenements, but were cheaper or different from row houses. Apartments were popular with these people.

Third Paragraph

1st stc During this period, people who were becoming rich built big houses, but apartments and hotels were becoming more and more popular. In fact, the newer apartments were better than the older ones because the builders were buying more than one building area (a lot) together so that their apartments could have a better space.
2nd stc In about 1880 to 1900, large apartments could be found in different parts of New York. In about 1900 to 1920, bigger apartments, like the Dakota and the Ansonia, were more common.
3rd stc Of course, the next logical step was to build luxury apartments for rich people. These new apartments were built on the brand new Park Avenue, which was located right next to Fifth Avenue, which was a fashionable area for shopping.