This study examines the impact of red light districts on the New York City’s land values for the years 1867 to 1870 using the monocentric model and bid-rent function as the foundation for the analysis. The results suggest that the Tenderloin red light district is a positive amenity, while the Bleecker and Washington Square red light district is a disamenity. The history of prostitution in New York City provides valuable insight into causes for the differences in the marginal impacts of prostitution on Manhattan’s urban environment. In the end, despite prostitution’s ongoing profitability well into the twentieth century, the strong disamenity associated with the Bleecker and Washington Square brothels and the oppressive conditions of the prostitution business merit strict attention. Metropolitan policy makers must be aware of a brothel’s work conditions and its impact on the surrounding urban environment when they implement laws and regulations against prostitution.

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