Reputation Versus Reality

We all tend to simplify. When we talk about SoHo architecture, there’s an unstated assumption that we’re talking about cast-iron. The SoHo historic district is the biggest collection of cast-iron facades in the world, true, but that’s not all that’s there.


That’s the corner of Spring and Wooster, in the heart of SoHo and there’s not a cast-iron facade in sight. (I’m cheating a bit – one of the buildings on the west side of Wooster has an iron facade, but we can’t see it from this angle.) There’s some very nice brick and a bit of stone. The buildings on the east (right) side of this stretch of Wooster was built up with loft buildings after the 1882 building code outlawed exposed cast iron, so the lack of iron isn’t a coincidence or accident. But, well over 100 years later, we get some good-looking brickwork to admire.

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