Houston Street in Lower Manhattan
Houston Street is one of the most important east/west thoroughfares in Lower Manhattan. It connects the FDR Drive with the West Side Highway, which runs along the East River. The street is also a major dividing line between the numbered streets of Downtown Manhattan. Houston St
Houston Street is not named after a city in Texas, but instead is a corruption of Houston Street. Bayard, an owner of a large ranch in Manhattan, arranged his property into seven east-west streets. He was a financier and an adviser to presidents. However, he faced financial problems and sold off some of the ranch parcels to the City of New York.
As a result, the southern boundary of the street was renamed. The westernmost portion of the street was known as Hammersley Street until the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1895, much of the research that Tesla had done was lost in a fire.
Houston Street has several historic churches and industrial lofts that have been restored as living quarters. The area is also home to fine examples of cast iron architecture. Many of the empty lots have been turned into playgrounds or community gardens.
Some of the earliest settlers of the neighborhood were Eastern European Jews. In the 1900s, two factories were built. One of these factories, the May Hosiery Mill, produced silk parachutes during World War II. Another, the American Syrup Company, made syrups, preserves, and jams. These businesses featured the mascot Jambo the Bear.
There is a great deal of Hispanic influence on the eastern end of the street. The neighborhood's name, SoHo, is an acronym for South of Houston.
A great example of the street's cast iron architecture is the Puck Building, which was built in 1885. Since then, the building has been restored as a Romanesque Revival structure.
Several other buildings were renovated in the 1990s. Some of the lofts are still occupied and may even be factories where people work on screwdrivers. Others are now used as vendor booths and playgrounds.
Although Houston Street is not named after a city, many tourists confuse the street with the actual city of Houston in Texas. They have butchered the pronunciation for years.
It's not snobby, though. It's a busy street in Manhattan that cuts a wide swath through the heart of Lower Manhattan. To get to the westernmost part of the street, you have to go to the Broadway intersection.
On the subway, the station's name is in gold. It has "H" tablets on a light blue background. You can see some artwork at the station as well, entitled Platform Diving by Deborah Brown.
For those who are unable to travel by subway, there are numerous bus lines that run along the street. The M21 bus route runs from FDR Drive to Washington Street. This route replaced an earlier streetcar line.
Other attractions on the street include a coffee house, two restaurants, and twenty office businesses. Houston Station has been an integral part of the redevelopment of the neighborhood.