Monday, July 14, 2008

SoHo and Tribeca Architecture

I was walking through SoHo and Tribeca recently, visiting a friend on White St., near Church St. North of Canal St. one can see evidence of significant redevelopment from recent years, with trendy boutiques and pricey lofts replacing long-vacant storefronts and warehouses. On weekends, the tourists are often elbow-to-elbow on the neighborhood's narrow sidewalks. Below Canal, however, one can still sense some of that mercantile and manufacturing past of New York before the 1950s, when many of the older businesses began their exodus. Today, there are signs that change is coming. The now quiet blocks of White St. are slowly changing as developers turn upper floors into expensive residential units, with many valued at $1,000 to $1,500 per square foot. Not cheap! In the first photo you can see the facade of the Wood's Mercantile Buildings, marking its construction in 1865 - the beginning of a post-Civil War construction surge that made the neighborhood around White and Walker streets a hub of the dry-goods business. (The old FDNY Engine 27 building is now home to a digital music studio and performance space.)

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1 comment:

susanna said...

Oooooh...I so enjoy a good walk through the city! Yes, it seems that New York is always under construction, doesn't it? I can't imagine paying that much for a loft in New York but I guess people can afford it or get used to it over time...
I bought a book a while back that you might enjoy called Writing New York: A Literary Anthology which may sound reeeeally dry and boring but I thought it was great! It's a collection of writing about New York by famous actors, writers, politicians, reporters, everyday folk from the 1700's to the present. It's fascinating to read what the neighborhoods of New York were like through these years.