Historic Districts of Downtown West

In Alphabetical Order:

  • Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District, August 1966
  • Chelsea Historic District, September 1970
  • Chelsea Historic District Extension, February 1981
  • Gansevoort Market Historic District, September 2003
  • Greenwich Village Historic District, April 1969
  • Greenwich Village Historic District, Extension I May 2006
  • Greenwich Village Historic District, Extension II June 2010
  • Ladies Mile Historic District, May 1989
  • Lamartine Place Historic District, October 2009
  • SoHo – Cast Iron Historic District, August 1973
  • SoHo – Cast Iron Historic District Extension, May 2010
  • South Village Historic District, December 2013
  • Weehawken Street Historic District, May 2006
  • West Chelsea Historic District, July 2008

Downtown West, being immediately adjacent to the Dutch and British colonial settlements, forced the dramatic events on our Time Lines and Sidebars, such as fires and epidemics, economic cycles, and social reforms, to be equally devastating to this part of town.

In addition to our Navigating Manhattan individual segment on Downtown West, the historic map gallery, in City Desk, can be informative regarding the development of all Downtown Manhattan, and the initial population migration north.

Chelsea, West Chelsea, Ladies’ Mile, and Lamartine Place Historic Districts

The initial Chelsea Historic District, bounded by 22nd and 23rd Streets, west of Eighth to Tenth Avenues, was expanded to 19th Street with multiple exceptions.

The original historic district includes the Clarke family Chelsea Farm manor house, its apple orchard, and the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church campus, which was gifted to the seminary in 1821 by Clement Clarke Moore.

Mr. Moore—until his death, in 1863—was an ardent real-estate-owner-rights advocate. He became a gifted (and benevolent) real-estate developer himself upon losing a court battle, and foreseeing a lost cause, as railroad tracks, along Tenth Avenue, bisected his farm.

Much to his credit, and to the best of his abilities, Clement Moore forestalled the urban sprawl that was to eventually overtake his vast (100 acres) Downtown West real-estate holdings.

West Chelsea Historic District encompasses Tenth Avenue to West Street, between 25th and 28th Streets. Commonly referred to as North Chelsea, it was within the original (but severed from) the Chelsea farm manor house, which was inherited by Clement Moore, in the early 1800s.

Chelsea Map || Info

West Chelsea Historic District Map || Info

Ladies’ Mile Historic District spans Avenue of the Americas, from 14th to 23rd Streets

This retailing stretch embodied the Gilded Age, throughout the mid- to late-1800s. The original Ladies Mile shopping district, though, began on 9th Street and Broadway and expanding continually until reaching Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street.

The historic district contains a bounty of Beaux-Arts, Neo-Renaissance, RomanesqueRevival, and Queen-Anne style cast-iron-façade department stores, and the side streets are lined with loft buildings, from the subsequent era.

Ladies’ Mile Map || Info

Lamartine Place Historic District, off Ninth Avenue, numbers 333 to 355, along 29th Street’s north side.

Twelve of these Greek Rival, mid-19th century (1849 -1852), red-brick row houses, with stone ornamental detailing, survived.

To enhance (and differentiate) their row from the “grid plan,” developers Torrey and Mason constructed a park on the east end of the row, which they also developed as Fitzroy Place.

Interestingly, though unrelated to the row’s landmark significance, Abby and James Sloan Gibbons, important abolitionists, used their Lamartine Place house as a documented stop on the pre-Civil War Underground Railroad to Canada.

Lamartine Place Historic District Map || Info

Greenwich Village Historic District and its environs, including MacDougal-Sullivan

Streets Garden, and Charlton-to-King-to-Vandam Street, Weehawken Street, and Gansevoort Market Historic Districts

The recently combined Greenwich Village Historic District is Manhattan’s largest, encompassing the entire original Warren Greenwich Farm, its Village, along with four juxtaposed, but far smaller, historic areas.

It stretches, as an irregular and zigzagging rectangle, from three blocks below Houston Street to 13th Street, and between University Place and West Street.

Since first established, in 1969, with its recent expansion—an 11-block stretch, with 235building, as the South Village Historic District—the total buildings now protected are 2,320.

Greenwich Village Map || (No Info)

Greenwich Village Historic District Extension Map || Info

Greenwich Village Historic District Extension II Map || Info

Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District is the southernmost historic district (though strictly mid-block, between the Avenue of the Americas and Varick Street) in Downtown West.

Charlton – King- Vandam Map || Info

MacDougal and Sullivan Street Gardens Historic District (withing the greater Greenwich Village Historic District) encompasses the mid-block gardens, between Bleecker and Houston Streets. The communal garden is not visible from the Street, however.

Macdougal-Sullivan Gardens Map || Info

Weehawken Street Historic District, a short block, off Christopher Street, runs parallel to the Hudson River. Once a prison, then a market, the lots were sold off as stables, marine-based mechanical shops, and boarding houses. Dilapidated as the buildings now are, at no time was Weehawken Street different, either.

Weehawken Street Historic District Map || Info

Gansevoort Market Historic District covers Horatio Street to 14th Street, jutting briefly to 15th Street, and west of Hudson Street to West Street

As the West Village’s northern tip, within the Greenwich Village Historic District northwest quadrant (though, perhaps, historically Chelsea Farm’s southwest edge), this is the last vestige of “Pig Alley,” or the meat-packing and slaughterhouse district.

Its meteoric rise, to the high of chic, is notable, and the recent High Line’s south terminus is here. This most-recent and unique Manhattan park runs through the West Chelsea historic district as, and be completed to 33rd Street, along Eleventh Avenue. Gansevoort Market Historic District Map || Info

SoHo Cast-Iron Historic District, with its extension, bounded by Canal Street, on the south, Houston Street, on the north, Center Street, on the east, and Sixth Avenue (of the Americas), on the West

SoHo (South of Houston) is densely populated with (approximately500) high-ceiling, wide and open, now-residential, once light-manufacturing loft building spaces.

Consisting of 26 blocks, mostly lined by buildings incorporating distinctive 1840s castiron-architectural-element façades, the historic district is also known for the extensive use of Belgian block cobble-stones.

It was true that in the early1840s retail strip sprung up here, and the fashionable elite chose to live here, too, and then again, in the late 1950s that “loft lifestyle” also took hold, as these abundant (all but abandon) commercial and manufacturing spaces were re-zoned as artists-in-resident studios.

Then suddenly, by 1970, SoHo rapidly—almost overnight—became “the” scene to see, and where to be seen.

From then to now, the SoHo Cast-iron Historic District remains a magnet for the artisticleaning—even innovators among the financial community—who favor the looser downtown lifestyle.

SoHo-Cast Iron Map || Info

SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District Extension Map || Info

Additional National Register Historic Districts

Nearby Downtown West

Lower East Side Historic District

Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 1825-1849, 18001824

Roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston, Essex, Canal, and Eldridge Streets, East Broadway, and Grand Street

Lower East Side Historic District (Boundary Increase)

Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924, 1875-1899, 1850-1874, 1825-1849, 18001824 Roughly along Division, Rutgers, Madison, Henry, and Grand Streets.

Metropolitan Life Home Office Complex

Period of Significance: 1925-1949, 1900-1924

Roughly bounded by Madison Avenue, East 23rd Street, Park Avenue South, and East 25th Street