Tribeca is dominated by former industrial buildings that have been converted into residential buildings and lofts, similar to those of the neighboring SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the neighborhood was a center of the textile/cotton trade.
Notable buildings in the neighborhoods include the historic neo-Renaissance Textile Building built in 1901 and designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the Powell Building, a designated Landmark on Hudson Street, which was designed by Carrère and Hastings and built in 1892. At 73 Worth Street there is a handsome row of neo-Renaissance White Buildings built at the end of the Civil War in 1865. Other notable buildings include the New York Telephone Company building at 140 West Street, between Vesey and Barclay, with its Mayan-inspired Art Deco motif, and the former New York Mercantile Exchange at 6 Harrison Street.
During the late 1960s and ’70s, abandoned and inexpensive Tribeca lofts became hot-spot residences for young artists and their families because of the seclusion of lower Manhattan and the vast living space. Jim Stratton, a Tribeca resident since this period, wrote the 1977 nonfiction book entitled Pioneering in the Urban Wilderness, detailing his experiences renovating lower Manhattan warehouses into residences.
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