Video: Watch 400 Years of Change Play Out Along Just One Block of Soho

Posted On Wed, June 8, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, June 8, 2016 By In History, Soho, Video

Before Soho was home to an Apple Store, Dior and a slew of other luxury retailers and multi-million dollar apartments, it was considered “land so unvaluable that the Dutch gave it to the slaves,” says NYU economist William Easterly. In a new video project called “Greene Street,” Easterly traces the history of just one block of Greene Street (between Houston and Prince Street) and distills 400 years of history into a fascinating and informative 1.5-minute film. In seconds you can see the incredible transformations that occurred along the tiny 486-foot stretch of the neighborhood, which includes reincarnations as the biggest red light district in NYC, the center of garment manufacturing in the U.S., a shantytown, an artists’ hub, and finally the high-end retail corridor we know it as today.

According to Easterly, we can learn a lot by examining the history of a place at a micro level. “I think the advantage of looking at things at the local level is you can really see the bottom-up way in which a lot of good things happen,” says Easterly in the video. “And conversely, you can see the possible damage that could be done by somebody trying to exert control from the top down without adequate local knowledge.”

On his site he adds, “The big picture alone may give us an unbalanced view that understates the role of innovation, creative destruction, and other rapid and surprising changes that occur at the local level. Plans happen at the macro-level, but change often happens at the local level.”

More on his Greene Street project can be found here.

[Via NYU]

RELATED:

Tags : ,

Neighborhoods : Soho

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Iconic ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov buys Harlem condo for $1.4 million

    Iconic ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov buys Harlem condo for $1.4 million

    Mikhail Baryshnikov, who fled the Soviet Union in 1974 and landed in Canada is today considered one of the greatest ballet dancers ...
  • Starting Monday, three Brooklyn R train stations will shut down for six months

    Starting Monday, three Brooklyn R train stations will shut down for six months

    Last January, Governor Cuomo announced a massive undertaking to “modernize and fundamentally transform” the MTA and the subway by adding ...
  • Greta Garbo’s exclusive East Side co-op hits the market for the first time in 64 years, asking $6M

    Greta Garbo’s exclusive East Side co-op hits the market for the first time in 64 years, asking $6M

    For the first time in decades, an apartment in The Campanile, an exclusive co-op building in the Beekman/Sutton Place neighborhood, ...
  • The least affordable U.S. city for public transit isn’t NYC (and more fun facts about the cost of a commute)

    The least affordable U.S. city for public transit isn’t NYC (and more fun facts about the cost of a commute)

    In light of NYC’s recent subway fare hike that bumped the price of a monthly pass to $121, the data jocks ...
  • For $675K this tiny West Village studio is big on rustic loft style

    For $675K this tiny West Village studio is big on rustic loft style

    This completely renovated loft-style studio co-op at 9 Barrow Street may be tiny with little more than 300 square feet of ...
  • Dreamy furnished studio with lots of greenery asks $3,200/month in the East Village

    Dreamy furnished studio with lots of greenery asks $3,200/month in the East Village

    This furnished rental at 527 East 12th Street in the East Village is downright dreamy. The exposed brick has been painted white ...
  • National Academy’s trio of palatial UES buildings drops price to $79M, gets new pics

    National Academy’s trio of palatial UES buildings drops price to $79M, gets new pics

    Nearly a year ago, the National Academy Museum & School listed their three stunning Carnegie Hill properties for $120 million–two interconnected townhouses ...
  • 204 years ago today, the Manhattan Street Grid became official

    204 years ago today, the Manhattan Street Grid became official

    Photo courtesy of the Greenwich Village Society of Historical Preservation Deemed by historians as the “single most important document in ...
  • Law assigning hundreds of NYC spots to car-shares now in effect

    Law assigning hundreds of NYC spots to car-shares now in effect

    Signed into law Tuesday, the program dedicates 600 vehicle spaces—300 on-street and 300 off-street—throughout the five boroughs to companies such ...
  • French bulldog keeps title of NYC’s favorite breed; first Citywide Ferry boat enroute to New York

    French bulldog keeps title of NYC’s favorite breed; first Citywide Ferry boat enroute to New York

    Why Robert Moses just won’t go away. [NYT] For the third year in a row, NYC’s most popular dog breed ...
  • Comptroller Scott Stringer lays out plan for NYC to invest in its seniors

    Comptroller Scott Stringer lays out plan for NYC to invest in its seniors

    Like many cities across the country, New York City’s population is getting older. Today, more than 1.1 million adults over ...
  • Remembering New York City’s days of deadly smog

    Remembering New York City’s days of deadly smog

    Smog covering the Empire State Building. New York, NY, US, November 21, 1953, LIFE Magazine. Over Thanksgiving weekend in 1966, the ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.