The New York art scene hasn't changed much in 150 years. Fashionable women cram gallery openings. Financiers prowl studios. People queue for hours to see a painting. Parties start after midnight. And artists scramble for studio space. Earlier generations of artists, though, were not always at war with real estate developers. They actually worked together. New buildings were once constructed just for artists; they financed some themselves. From the 1850s to the 1920s, purpose-built artist studios and apartments sprang up around Manhattan. In the process, artists—true to form—invented a new mode of urban living.