What the heck is a ‘domiciliary?

These were the Domiciliary Buildings…. they we used from the 1880s until after the Vietnam War.    One of the guys I play chess with lived in one of them a few times back in the late 1970s    They were full back then.

There was a time when the Doms had residents from the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and World War 1.   They kept them separated by wards because they all thought their war was the ‘Big One’ and tended to try to injure one another over it.

Back then they fed everyone in a single building, had formations most days with everyone required to wear a uniform and turn out on the streets.   And they were kept busy repairing, landscaping, even digging clay for the bricks to build and repair the buildings on the campus.

The old house I live in was built in 1896 by these old guys, and it’s easy to see they weren’t carpenters.

Beginning January 1, 2018, they began some renovation on the old ‘dom’ buildings.    Some entrepreneur was given a 99 year lease on the buildings and they’ll have the interiors, currently death traps, torn out so’s the buildings can be rented out as apartments.

They’ve already done that to a few others not shown here, and the campus has around 200 residents living in the four buildings.  Maybe more.     When they’ve done the other thirteen old ‘dom’ buildings this place is going to be jam-packed again, but with all sorts of people I imagine.

Time hurries on.

Old Jules

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13 responses to “What the heck is a ‘domiciliary?

  1. A somewhat similar example of popular housing is NYC’s famous tenement buildings, which were built a century ago for workers of specific industries, which are still standing after all these years. The one I live was built in 1912, for workers of the garment industry. But people know better those located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They’re incredibly sturdy, and have stood while many others, considerably more expensive, have fell apart. Cheers

    • Hi thiere. Yeah, 1912 and the 1880s sound old until a person considers those all over Europe that have remained in use several centuries. I’m surprised to know they made apartments out of them in NYC instead of tearing them down and beginning over. Runs against my perceptions of how things are done there. But I haven’t been in NYC in a lot of years. Gracias, Old Jules

  2. I bet that, had they known these buildings would last this long, they wouldn’t have built them for workers. lol

    • Yep, nobody is all that successful about predicting the future. Dadgummed shame, too. Gracias, Old Jules

      • Exactly. And, as you said, it’s all our fault, us miserable poor. Why do we insist in choosing to be born under or near the poverty line? Blame it all on our bad bad genes.

        • I think it’s something fundamentally missing in our minds and souls. Money. But I surely understand billionaires not paying us any mind unless they need their plumbing fixed or need someone to take the food back to the kitchen because it’s not quite right. They can tell we don’t have what it takes or we wouldn’t be doing that sort of crap. Old Jules

  3. I guess one of the reasons they’re still standing was the incredible flux of immigration during the past century. There was simply no time to build new buildings. But they did get built, alright, and now it’s completely out of control. heavily biased towards billionaires and speculators, so a lot of luxury construction going on while the rest of us get all priced out of the city.

  4. There is a lot history in those old buildings.

    • Yeah there’s bound to be. But mostly that sort of continuity has been lost. They don’t even have anyone in a designated role as campus historian. Gracias, Old Jules

  5. My first thought was there are probably some interesting ghost stories from 1880 and onward.

    • There are definitely a lot of those. People around here still see ghosts in some of the older buildings. Me, it’s mainly cats that aren’t there I see here in this old building. Lots of cats that don’t exist running around here, rubbing up against your leg or just being there….. strange stuff. Gracias, Old Jules

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