Preserving single-room occupancy hotels
Bevil, Nathan Andrew
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Single-room occupancy hotels are a unique part of the urban cultural landscape in America overlooked by the field of historic preservation. SRO hotels developed out of a need to provide cheap housing in urban centers to middle and lower class workers during the early twentieth century. Historic preservationists have only recently recognized the significance of these structures and the part they have played in the development of American cities. These buildings provide an important link to the early women’s liberation and gay rights movements in America. The current residents of SRO hotels rely on the building to provide shelter and social services. Due to their location downtown and the sources of funding available, rehabilitating SRO hotels is an economical option for housing. Historic preservationists must begin to recognize the significance of SRO hotels and their place within the urban landscape.