lower west side

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Features, Financial District, History

Six things you didn’t know about the Lower West Side

By Historic Districts Council, Wed, February 14, 2018

59-81-Washington-Street ca. 1935, via NYPL

This post is part of a series by the Historic Districts Council, exploring the groups selected for their Six to Celebrate program, New York’s only targeted citywide list of preservation priorities.

The Lower West Side may not be a neighborhood name used by brokers, but for those involved with preservation efforts in the area, it’s a neighborhood very much unique from the surrounding Financial District. Encompassing the area west of Broadway from Liberty Street to Battery Place, it was originally home to Irish and German immigrants, followed by Little Syria, the nation’s first and largest Arabic settlement, from roughly the 1880s to 1940s. But the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and World Trade Center “nearly wiped the neighborhood off the map.” There are still several buildings remaining that serve as a connection to the past, however, and Friends of the Lower West Side is working diligently to make sure this history is not lost, expanding its oral history program, offering walking tours of the area, and appealing to the Landmarks Commission to designate a small historic district.

Find out six little-known facts about this amazing district


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