SoHo’s soul: a cast-iron crown, not a colonial relic

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Image courtesy of villagepreservation.org

SoHo, synonymous with chic boutiques and art galleries, lacks a traditional “oldest building” due to its mid-19th century boom, so colonial-era structures are absent. However, SoHo claims a unique historical niche – the world’s greatest concentration of cast-iron architecture. Buildings like the E. V. Haughwout Building (1857) exemplifies this innovative style.

Cast iron, a robust and versatile material, allowed architects to create soaring ceilings and large windows, perfect for bustling commerce. So, while SoHo might not have the oldest building in the traditional sense, its cast-iron structures stand as captivating testaments to a specific era of architectural innovation and commercial growth.

– Erin McIntyre with AI assist*

*As a company focused on innovative tools to build community, we embrace AI as an editorial resource to help us create relevant content. Every article is reviewed and modified by one of our editors to ensure accuracy.