Re: Re: York Street
asmodeus: just a few points.
1. Yes, there were (and are) many middle-class tenements, but there are many working-class tenements left. Most were, as you say, purpose-built, although there were some instances historically of large, middle-class houses sub-divided as tenements, as in Dublin (e.g. grand late-Georgian, early-Victorian houses in South Portland St in the Gorbals, alas long gone).
2. The Tenement Flat (sic) is more accurately intended for the ‘skilled working-class’, and I think it’s a two-room and kitchen flat, so a cut above the basic (but it still has a built-in ‘box bed’ (for the skivvy?) in the 3rd pic).
3. Your figure of ‘two hundred’ detached houses is spurious; there were and are many historic detached houses in the city. In some relatively small areas there is a range of house types from basic to better-class tenement, to terraces and semi-ds, to detached villas (some of which are very grand indeed). This would reflect economic status (and doesn’t it always!).
4. The word ‘tenement’ originally referred to a parcel of land ‘held’ by someone (i.e. ‘a holding’), and later this was applied, without any pejorative meaning, to the building on the land (from the Latin ‘tenementum’). Here, in popular parlance, you lived in a ‘close’ or a ‘building’ (never a tenement) and any blocks of flats built after c. 1914 (usually by the Corporation) were never referred to as tenements (although that is technically what they were).
5. Your third pic actually shows Glasgow Sheriff Court (‘the busiest court in Europe’), equivalent to your District Court, so nobody lives in it (not literally anyway).
I can get some pics to illustrate this, but I’ve rambled on enough. Any pics of the York St development?