By Wei Min Tan
Soho (SOuth of HOuston) used to be an industrial area which became popular with artists. As more artists moved into the neighborhood, Soho transformed into a residential work-live area with many artist studios and galleries. This attracted chic restaurants and cafes which attracted people who want to live in such a trendy neighborhood.
Over time, as developers turned manufacturing warehouses into residential loft living spaces, real estate prices increased and more high-end restaurants and retailers moved in. Soho is now one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan. Top buildings like 40 Mercer and 30 Crosby are among the most desirable addresses in Downtown Manhattan.
Much of Soho is included in the Soho Cast Iron Historic District. Characteristics of Soho include residential lofts, cast iron buildings and cobblestone streets. A loft is a residential space converted from a former manufacturing or warehouse space. As such, lofts tend to have high ceilings, large windows and openness.
Top fashion houses can be found on Prince Street, West Broadway and Spring Street. New York's oldest pizzeria, Lombardi's, is also in Soho, at the intersection of Spring and Mott Sts.