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Exploring the NoHo Historic District Extension

New York City is a treasure trove of architectural marvels, each telling a story of its own. Nestled in the heart of Manhattan lies the NoHo Historic District, a testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. Designated in June of 1999, this district was created to protect and preserve the architectural heritage of one of New York’s most iconic neighborhoods. The district saw two significant expansions. In June 2003 the NoHo East Historic District was designated, and in May, 2008 the NoHo Historic District was extended.

NoHo, short for “North of Houston Street,” is known for its cast-iron buildings, cobblestone streets, and rich artistic legacy. The district encompasses a wealth of architectural styles, including Federal, Greek Revival, Beaux-Arts, Italianate, and Second Empire, reflecting the neighborhood’s evolution over the centuries.

Circled in blue the NoHo Historic District Extension, along with the NoHo Historic District and NoHo East Historic District

The extension of the NoHo Historic District, designated on May 13, 2008, includes additional blocks stretching from East 4th Street down to Bleecker Street, between Lafayette Street and the Bowery. The heart of the extension lies between Great Jones Street and Bond Street, with 56 buildings.  The extension was prompted by a growing recognition of the architectural gems scattered throughout the neighborhood, many of which were at risk of being lost. By enlarging the district, city officials sought to safeguard these cultural treasures for future generations to enjoy.

The architecture in this part of NoHo is a microcosm of the various historic styles of New York from the 1830s to the 1920s. Along Great Jones Street and Bond Street, several beautiful Federal-style homes were built, reflecting the growing desirability of the neighborhood at the time. This is also reflected in the name of Great Jones Street, which had Great added to its name to differentiate it from the other Jones Street in Greenwich Village, as two brothers-in-law, Samuel Jones, and Gardiner Jones, battled it out to keep the street named in each of their honors. Samuel claimed victory with Great Jones Street, the more prominent of the two by size, and its residents, including then-mayor Philip Hone.

Today examples of the fine Federal-style homes that existed along Great Jones Street are mainly found on Bond Street, including 26 Bond Street. Built circa 1830 for James Roosevelt and sold to Alfred De Forest in 1831, it stands three-and-a-half stories tall with a peaked roof and its beautiful Gibbs surround at the entrance.

26 Bond Street today

As the decades moved along, new styles and building methods were introduced, such as cast-iron and Second Empire style. At the corner of Bond Street and Bowery stands the magnificent former home of the Bond Street Savings Bank and Bouwerie Lane Theatre. Completed in 1874, this beautiful building is an incredible combination of Second Empire style and cast iron construction.

Former home of the Bouwerie Lane Theatre, located at the corner of Bond and Bowery

Through the end of the 19th century, the character of this section of NoHo became increasingly commercial and industrial, as well-to-do residents continued their trek uptown. But such changes did not preclude fine architecture. Completed in 1899, Firehouse Engine Co. 33 at 42-44 Great Jones Street is a gorgeous Beaux-Arts style structure dominated by its limestone arch, cast-iron windows, and delicate decorations. 

Firehouse Engine No. 33 at 42-44 Great Jones Street

As New York entered the first decades of the 20th century, a more minimalist and utilitarian style came to the fore. Built in 1922, the commercial building located at 337-345 Lafayette Street is a simple brick design with large windows for light. The building was used by garment businesses, cleaning services, and an automobile ignition service company, reflecting a new age of transportation. 

337-345 Lafayette Street

Even as the uses of these buildings continue to evolve, their unique architectural elements and styles remain an enduring statement of the city’s incredible history and growth. The NoHo Historic District Extension is a wonderful slice of the city’s varied architectural past.

To learn more about the NoHo’s amazing architecture make sure to check out our collection of Landmark Designation Reports, including those for the NoHo Historic District, the NoHo East Historic District, and the NoHo Historic District Extension

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