From the Hudson River to Sixth Avenue, and 14th Street to Houston Street. The Far West Village extends from the Hudson River to Hudson Street.
New York City boasts the greatest collection of cast iron buildings in the world, and most of them are in SoHo, an acronym for “South of Houston Street.” Since the mid-1800’s, these sturdy, decorative facades have housed a variety of tenants, from textile manufacturers and the city’s earliest department stores to emerging artists and gallery owners. Today, the industrial grit is gone and the area once dubbed “the home of the rag trade” is once again an epicenter of fashion, displayed in some of the city’s most extravagant retail spaces. But there’s far more to SoHo than world-class shopping. There’s also a solid sense of community, established by pioneering loft-dwellers who have lived here for decades, along with enduring local bakeries, cafes and butcher shops that preserve the old-fashioned neighborhood ambiance.
SoHo’s distinctive character comes from its Belgian block streets and historic buildings with cast iron columns and Corinthian capitals. Originally constructed to accommodate manufacturing equipment, these premium loft spaces feature exceptionally high ceilings and massive windows designed to flood the space with sunlight. Just west of West Broadway are side streets filled with preserved townhouses and tenement buildings, traces of the immigrant communities who once lived here.
In the mid-19th century, SoHo was an upscale shopping district, home to large department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Arnold Constable and Tiffany & Company.
Almost all of SoHo is included in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, which was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1973.
In the late ’70s and ’80s, it was possible to stumble upon an impromptu show by then-unknown artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat or Blinky Palermo that was hastily thrown together in a SoHo loft space.