SoHo is (according to New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report) the world’s largest concentration of cast iron facades. The style emphasizes floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. My personal favorite is the Singer Building on Broadway – an L-shaped building with its second entrance on Prince Street. The row of buildings along the west side of Broadway is predominantly block-through structures with back entrances on Mercer Street.

Most visitors to SoHo (South of Houston – which New Yorkers pronounce How-ston) are more interested in shopping than in architecture: The district has become a designer outlet, missing only a free parking lot. Even Canal Street – once the preserve of scrap, tool, and junk shops – is becoming semi-respectable.

As you tour the area you may notice “A.I.R.” painted on some buildings. That stands for “Artist In Residence” to alert the Fire Department that the lofts may be occupied.

SoHo Historic District as defined by the Landmarks Commission extends from Houston Street south to Canal Street, and from West Broadway east to Crosby Street. This gallery includes some buildings (even-numbered) from the west side of West Broadway and St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church (on Sullivan Street off Houston Street).

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