SoHo is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, notable for being the location of many artists' lofts and art galleries, and for the wide variety of stores and shops ranging from trendy boutiques to outlets of upscale national and international chain stores. The area's history is an archetypal example of inner-city regeneration and gentrification, encompassing socio-economic, cultural, political and architectural developments.
Almost all of SoHo is included in the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, which was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1973, extended in 2010, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and declared aNational Historic Landmark in 1978. It consists of 26 blocks and approximately 500 buildings, many of them incorporatingcast iron architectural elements. The side streets in the district are notable for being paved with Belgian blocks.
The name "SoHo" refers to the area being "SOuth of HOuston (Street)", and was also a reference to the London district ofSoho. It was coined by Chester Rapkin, an urban planner who was the author of the "South Houston Industrial Area" study,also known as the "Rapkin Report". This began a naming convention which has become a model for the names of new, emerging and re-purposed neighborhoods in New York such as TriBeCa for "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street", NoHo ("NOrth of HOuston Street"), DUMBO ("Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass"), Nolita ("NOrth of Little ITAly") and NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square"), among others.
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