Soho New York History
This is the first part of a two-part series about the history of New York's most iconic neighborhoods. It reveals the stories of the people who filled this iconic neighborhood with life, as well as the lives of those who lived in the city.
Check out a two-page book below that tells the story of the most iconic neighborhoods in New York that opened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, just as they did in their deepest moments of decline. Located on South Houston Street in Lower Manhattan, it tells the story of the city's first run-down, low-income neighborhood, the Lower East Side.
While Soho was a place for upper-class New Yorkers to shop in the early 19th century, the area had deteriorated dramatically by the time the Haughwout building was built, with brothels mainly on Houston and Mercer Streets. At the same time, the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX), which was to be built in its place, threatened the entire SoHo landscape. This had an impact on the neighborhood's residents and buildings, according to the book's author, Siegfried Schmitt, a descendant of Helene Siegel, one of the first black residents of New York. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it became home to a number of fine restaurants, shops, hotels and hotels.
The report was released after conservationists, civil rights activists, residents, and artists successfully fought against the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX), a $1.5 billion project by New York Mayor Joseph Moses that would have decimated SoHo and several other downtown neighborhoods with a connecting road between the Manhattan-Williamsburg bridges and the Holland Tunnel. In response to growing concern that important physical elements of our city's history were being lost, New York's Landmark Law was enacted in the late 1970s.
In 1974, New York magazine described Soho as "the most exciting place to live in the city" and "one of the most famous places to live. The district has become a popular destination for artists, writers, musicians and artists of all stripes, as well as tourists and tourists from all over the world. New Yorkers' renewed fascination with Soho and its rich history of cultural and cultural significance is reviving the city's fascination with the city.
In the mid-19th century, SoHo quickly became the headquarters of theaters in New York, and the area was dubbed "Hell on a Hundred Acres" because of the number of fires that occurred due to buildings in dilapidated condition. In the 1960s, it was home to some of New York's most famous artists, writers, musicians and musicians. The area heralded the rise of a new generation of artists of all stripes, including William Faulkner, William S. Burroughs, and Robert Rauschenberg. At the end of the 19th century, a prominent red-light district began to emerge in Soho, eventually displacing the middle class. It was the first "red light district" in the city to consist of prostitutes and was overrun by prostitutes.
About 250 cast iron buildings are in New York City, most of them in SoHo. Today, there are more than 1000 cast iron buildings in the area, most of which date from the mid to late 19th century. Ho has one of the largest and most diverse collections of historic buildings in Manhattan.
The historic district of SoHo was designated in 1973, expanded in 2010, added to the National Register of Historic Places, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978. Almost everyone So Ho is included in it, with the exception of some buildings in New York's Central Park West. The historic So hoCast Iron district in Manhattan, the historic cast iron neighborhoods of Soho, are almost all contained in soHo, as part of its designation as a cast-iron district.
SoHo is generally bordered by Central Park West, the Hudson River and Manhattan Bridge, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Bordering the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Westchester County, Staten Island and Brooklyn, SoHo is easily accessible by subway. Hop-on, hop-off bus tours, including the New York City Bus Rapid Transit (subway) line, include a stop in So Ho.
Soho is defined by Houston Street, which marks its northern boundary, and is bounded by the Hudson River, Central Park West, the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge, according to the New York Department of Transportation.
The historic SoHo Iron Historic District was designated in 2004 as part of the New York Department of Transportation's effort to protect the historic and cultural heritage of Soho and its neighborhoods. The western part of this street was first designated as a cast iron historic district in 2003, while the eastern part was designated as such only in 2010, partly due to the expansion.
Today, Soho is a prosperous and booming neighborhood, home to some of the fanciest New Yorkers in addition to a tourism hotbed. There is also a vibrant nightlife, especially along Spring Street, and it is just a few blocks from the New York City Museum of Natural History. But a stroll down Soho Lane shows that it wasn't always as affluent as it is today, once in the heart of one of Manhattan's most historic neighborhoods.