The Soho neighborhood is located in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. In the 1950’s, the area was a desolate area that was often referred to as an “industrial wasteland.” It was home to a number of factories and sweatshops that were thought to tarnish the reputation of the area. Of course, the image that it had during that period of time was still better than the image the area garnered previously. Prior to the mid 20th century, the area was a buzzing center for nightlife, and was home to the most condensed population of bars, taverns and brothels in the city.
The Soho district was the area that was most known for having artists move in to huge locations to work and live in for cheap. Many of these apartments were called lofts, and gave artists ample space to work on their projects. The neighborhood is called Soho, which stands for “South of Houston, “ referring to the fact that it is south of Houston Street.
The area is still associated with the arts even today. Of course, the location has expanded to become known for their great shopping centers and artsy establishments around the area. The location has had a great deal of influence on the art world, and some of the most world renowned artists got their start in the Soho area.
At one point, the area was thought to be destined to be torn down to build a highway. Eventually, the city was not able to secure enough funding for the project, and the Soho neighborhood was spared. After the project fell through, there were still a huge number of historic buildings that were thought to scare away the potential manufacturing and commerce companies that the city wanted to populate the area. Although many of the lofts were not zoned or equipped for residential use, the fact that many artists were living in the area was largely ignored for a long period of time.
Soho is home to the vast majority of cast iron buildings that are located in New York City. The style was used to decorate the front of a preexisting building to make it look as though it had been renovated or rebuilt.
Until the early 1070’s, the city continually made attempts to keep the Soho neighborhood as a strictly industrial area. However, amid public outcry, they abandoned these plans and decided that having the area known for the area was a smart move.
Even today, the area is a popular attraction for upcoming artists because they can lease large spaces for a fraction of the price that they would pay in other areas of the city. Soho is a cultural landmark that is often visited by sightseers, tourists and fans of the arts. Even today, the location is an important piece of the art community, and is often chosen to host showcasing’s and events related to the art world.