Even if you’re not on a shopping spree when visiting New York City, a place you must visit is the Soho district of Manhattan.
Soho’s cast iron buildings, exemplify magnificent architecture not seen in any other part of the city (except Chelsea, Noho and Tribeca). These buildings also known as “Loft Buildings” were constructed in the late 1800’s and were mainly used as factories. In the 60’s and 70s, artists moved in for the cheap rents and in the 70’s and 80s’, Soho became a dangerous place at night. It was known as an old wild west to some. Crackheads roamed and squatted from roof top to roof top, also known as roofhopping. Lots of break ins through the skylights occured. There were hardly any stores and Soho was not a shopping district back then like it is today. You didn’t want to venuture out on th streets of Soho like Crosby street when the night set in. Speaking of Crosby and the surrounding streets, many of them still have the cobble stones from the late 19th century.
During the late 80s, 90s and onward, in came gentrification and transplants. Cheap rents vanished as did the artists; the converted lofts are now homes well worth millions of $$$. Imagine owning a whole floor or even half a floor in a building, with 12 to 16ft high ceilings, wooden floors and huge windows.
You can still spot a couple of buildings in Soho yet to be renovated. They look worn down, paint chipping away at what once a beautiful cast iron building. The only reminder left of the old wild west.
A great place to visit so hop on and off the citysightny Downtown bus tours and enjoy Soho!