Soho Apartments for Rent(hide neighborhood information)
For many, the mention of New York artists’ lofts, art galleries, trendy boutiques and urban gentrification brings to mind SoHo, in Lower Manhattan. This neighborhood offers great bars, restaurants and unique retail shops.
The neighborhood’s location, the appeal of its open, airy lofts, historic architecture and hip reputation as a haven for creativity has made SoHo a very desirable neighborhood. Once a refuge for poor artists and small manufacturers, SoHo quickly became synonymous with trendy fashion and dining; in fact, this pattern of gentrification has been named the “SoHo Effect” and continues to be repeated in other cities around the nation.
The northern area of SoHo, along Broadway and Prince and Spring Streets, hosts the area’s boutiques and restaurants. Street vendors hawk jewelry, t-shirts and other merchandise. Upscale shopping is found at Prada, Bloomingdale’s, H&M, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein. The southern part of the neighborhood, along Grand and Canal Streets, retains a little bohemian flavor.
The SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. It is the greatest collection of cast-iron architecture in the world; approximately 250 cast iron buildings stand in New York City and the majority of them are in SoHo.
Cast iron was initially used as a decorative facade over a pre-existing building, so that older industrial buildings could attract new commercial clients. Most of these facades were constructed from 1840 to 1880. Later, buildings were designed to feature the cast iron.
Cast iron was cheaper to use for facades than materials such as stone or brick. Classical French and Italian architectural designs were often used as models; because stone was the material associated with architectural masterpieces the cast iron was painted in neutral tints such as beige to simulate stone.
The name SoHo refers to the area being “SOuth of HOuston (Street)”. This naming convention was used for new and emerging neighborhoods such as NoHo, for “NOrth of HOuston Street”, TriBeCa (“TRIangle BElow CAnal Street”), Nolita (“NOrth of Little ITAly”), NoMad (“NOrth of MADison Square”), and DUMBO (“Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”).