SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Expands, Adds 135 Buildings

By Julie Shapiro on May 11, 2010 6:08pm 

This 1889 Queen Anne style building at 158-164 Lafayette Street is now protected by the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District.
This 1889 Queen Anne style building at 158-164 Lafayette Street is now protected by the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District.
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Courtesy of Landmarks Preservation Commission

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

SOHO — Dozens of historic cast-iron buildings in SoHo gained new protections Tuesday as the city Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to expand the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District.

Most of the 135 newly protected buildings rose after the Civil War, when SoHo was a manufacturing and wholesale district. A few of the buildings date back even further, to the early 19th century, the commission said.

“The buildings in the district extension will not only enhance, but also help to safeguard SoHo’s standing as one of New York City’s most attractive and popular neighborhoods,” LPC Chairman Robert Tierney said in a statement.

No one testified against the district expansion, and the commission voted for it unanimously.

“We’re thrilled,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “This is long overdue.”

The original 1973 SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District already includes 500 buildings on the blocks bounded by West Houston Street, Canal Street, Crosby Street and West Broadway.

The city’s action Tuesday expanded that district to the east and the west, adding buildings on West Broadway and Crosby, Lafayette, Howard and Centre Streets.

The expansion includes several buildings Berman hoped would earn protections under the proposed South Village Historic District, which the LPC is currently considering for designation.

While Berman did not know of any specific threats to the historic buildings within the expanded district, he said it could not hurt to safeguard them.

“Given the voracious pace of development downtown, without landmarks protection any of these buildings could have disappeared in the not-too-distant future,” Berman said.

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