Whether an Indian summer awaits or the chill of fall is here to stay, the historic neighborhood south of Houston, north of Canal and west of Crosby is as lively as ever, with visitors, workers, and residents out in force at all hours.
Once known as the South Village, the area was transformed from farmland to an upper-class neighborhood in the early 19th century. It has gone through subsequent incarnations as a shopping district and later as the “Cast-Iron District,” when warehouse and loft spaces of similar construction became common throughout the area. Beginning in the 1960s, it began to attract more and more artists, who were drawn to the area’s cheap rents and ample work spaces. That's when, taking a cue from the artistic London neighborhood of the same name, the area looked to its northern boundary and truncated its location “South of Houston” to become Soho.
Broadway and West Broadway, the neighborhood’s two main shopping strips, buzz with people from all walks of life and every social bracket. Fashion galleries, and many devotees of the publishing, music and graphic-design industries' have offices in the area, along with a number of stock brokers and famous personalities that also have homes here. Typically, buyers in this area are highly social, newly minted and not shy about it. Those who make Soho their permanent residence are usually drawn by its irresistible style and unstoppable energy.
The area continued to evolve, and is now known for its trendy restaurants and stylish boutiques as much as anything else. While Madison and Fifth Avenues are widely known as the shopping Mecca in Manhattan, New Yorkers who crave a dash of excitement with their spending max out their credit cards in Soho, the energetic and incredibly stylish area south of Houston Street. Anything a consumer’s heart desires can be found in this fashionable neighborhood.
Soho has a very unique architecture. Many beautiful buildings abound in different styles such as Victorian Gothic, Neo-Greco, and Italianate. The area's many incarnations stimulates much discussion among New Yorker's who were around to watch it go from city slum to art hub to shopping mall. Still, one thing is for sure: Ever since its transformation in the 1960’s, Soho’s breathtaking housing - lofts that once defined a bohemian lifestyle and continues to define chic luxury, is more desirable now than it ever was.