A rare early skyscraper in the cast iron district, the SoHo Building offers fantastic views and unparalleled natural light on its upper stories. The building also features high ceilings, open floorplates and historic details throughout. The largest surviving collection of cast iron buildings in the world, the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District was reclaimed from light industrial and warehouse use in the 1950s and 1960s by the artists associated with Pop and Abstract movements in American Art. As galleries moved to Chelsea, chic boutiques, creative industries and stylish hotels moved in, making the neighborhood a draw for locals and international visitors alike. The term “SoHo effect” refers globally to the rejuvenation of a compact older district in or near a city’s center.
The SoHo Building itself is not cast iron, but rather a steel-framed skyscraper in a highly modified Colonial Revival style on Greene Street and late Beaux Arts on Mercer Street. The merchant Charles Rouse, who took the middle name of “Broadway” to honor the street where he built his first department store, was an entrepreneur who moved to New York from Virginia after the Civil War, which had bankrupted him. After a stint in debtor’s prison, he made good on his debt by reselling auctioned goods – the E-Bay of its time. His department store was one of the most lavish of the 19th century, selling “everything calculated to make a man fashionable, a lady irresistible and a family comfortable” with goods and fashions coming from as far away as Japan.
Surrounded by boutiques that Rouse would no doubt admire, the SoHo Building offers an atmospheric yet practical location for a broad range of creative tenants. Its namesake would be delighted to see that 110 Greene Street still sets the standards for the neighborhood and New York.