← Back

Happy Anniversary, NoHo Historic District!

Bayard-Condict Building, LPC designation photograph, June 1999.

The NoHo Historic District was designated by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission on June 29th, 1999. Within its bounds are buildings significant for their innovation in architecture, like some of the city’s oldest cast iron structures, early instances of adaptive reuse, and even one of its first skyscrapers, and for their layers of cultural heritage, including sites important to LGBTQ+, artistic, medical, industrial, public theater and library history, and more.

Village Preservation’s virtual tour of the NoHo Historic District highlights 25 buildings within the approximately 130-building district (an extremely difficult thing to narrow down, as every designated building is important). We selected sites with a wide variety of construction dates – spanning the 1830s to 1910s – and building types, styles, materials, and uses, to show the full range of NoHo’s diverse architecture. It’s incredible to see just how much history is contained within this relatively small historic district.

The tour is organized in three parts, by phases of neighborhood development. Part one features buildings constructed from the 1830s to 1850s, which are among the earliest extant structures in the area.

58 Bleecker Street in 1996, photograph by Susan De Vries from Village Preservation’s Historic Image Archive.

The oldest building on the tour is found at 58 Bleecker Street. Built in 1822-23, this Federal style brick carriage house was designed by architects Babb, Cook & Willard for Jacobus “James” Roosevelt III, great grandfather of future president Franklin D. Roosevelt. After James Roosevelt died in 1847, his widow, Harriet Howland Roosevelt, remained in the building for another decade. In 1857, the house was converted to an infirmary for women and children by Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to obtain a medical degree in the United States.

Astor Library, interior view, 1854. Image courtesy the New York Public Library.

Other featured “firsts” include the predecessor to the first branch of the New York Public Library, and the oldest surviving cast iron building in the area. These are the Astor Library (now the Public Theater) and 620 Broadway.

622 Broadway, June 2024. Photograph by Chloe Gregoire for Village Preservation.

Speaking of cast iron, though the largest concentration of cast iron architecture in the city, if not the country, can be found in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, as its neighbor, NoHo has its share of significant cast iron structures. In the second part of the virtual tour, we explore buildings constructed in the 1870s and 1880s, when the neighborhood was rapidly shifting from a high society residential area to an increasingly commercial hub. Two prime examples of the development of cast iron architecture are found here, at 7-9 Bond Street and 622 Broadway. These purpose-built commercial structures exemplify this neighborhood shift.

The Cable Building, LPC designation photograph, June 1999.

Finally, part three of the tour highlights the period from the 1890s to 1910s, including the “booming ‘90s” and “post-consolidation growth.” As these categories suggest, the area continued to thrive and grow at the turn of the century. The Cable Building, Bayard-Condict Building, and Wanamaker’s Annex are all large, imposing structures that utilized advanced building construction technology and are among the neighborhood’s most striking architectural gems.

Click here to visit the full tour and explore the NoHo Historic District!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *