SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Extended

Extension encompasses 135 properties bordering the east and west sides of the original historic district. On May 11, 2010, Landmarks voted to designate the SoHo-Cast Iron District Extension. The extension includes 135 properties and consists of two subsections bordering the eastern and western sides of the original 1973 SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. The eastern subsection includes portions of Crosby and Centre Streets between Houston and Canal Streets, and the western subsection includes buildings on the west side of West Broadway.

The area is characterized by store and loft buildings that were built after the Civil War and helped transform the residential neighborhood to an active commercial zone in the late nineteenth century. Architectural styles displayed in the district include Second Empire, Renaissance Revival, and Italianate.

At an October 2009 hearing, the proposed extension won support from several neighborhood residents, preservationists, and elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and State Senator Daniel L. Squadron. Opponents included the Real Estate Board of New York and residents who wanted their properties carved out of the proposed extension. 6 CityLand 160 (Nov. 15, 2009).

When Landmarks reconvened at the May meeting, Commissioner Margery Perlmutter supported designation, but expressed concern about the several no-style buildings included in the extension. Perlmutter noted the importance of ensuring that no-style buildings are compatible with historic districts, but said she was concerned about the designation process becoming a “zoning tool.” Rather than deciding on no-style sites, Perlmutter suggested that Landmarks work with the Department of City Planning to ensure appropriate zoning districts were applied to these sites so that future development would be contextual with the historic district. Commissioner Stephen Byrns characterized the extension as being a correction of the arbitrary lines originally drawn in 1973. Byrns said he was “grateful” that empty or no-style lots were included so that the neighborhood would be protected from deleterious as-of-right development.

Landmarks unanimously approved the extension’s designation.

LPC: SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Extension, Manhattan (LP-2363) (May 11, 2010).

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