J. G. Thomas lived in the house at No. 165 Avenue B in 1852. But the neighborhood was begun changing. In the 1840's German immigrants began pouring into Manhattan, settling mostly on the Lower East Side. Within the next decade 800,000 Germans entered New York Harbor and by 1855 only Vienna and Berlin had a larger German population than did New York City. The following year Thomas's house was gone, replaced by a five-story tenement building.