Neighborhood Spotlight: Tribeca
The “Triangle Below Canal” was among the first residential neighborhoods developed in New York City beyond the city’s colonial boundaries and remained primarily residential until the 1840s.
Increased shipping to downtown piers encouraged the expansion of the Washington Market – a wholesale produce market which opened in 1813– which took over houses and warehouses to use for the storage of produce such as butter, cheese and eggs. In the mid-19th century, the neighborhood was the center of the dry goods and textile industries in the city with large numbers of stores and loft buildings constructed along Broadway in the 1850s and 1860s. Development in the area was spurred by NYC subway construction.
However, by the 1960s, Tribeca’s industrial base had all but vanished and the city put an urban renewal plan into effect including tax benefits which involved the demolition of many old buildings, with the intent of building high-rise residential towers, office buildings and schools. Some industrial and warehouse buildings were converted to residential use and the predominance of empty commercial space attracted many artists to the area in the 1970’s who lived and worked in these spaces, a model which had been pioneered in nearby Soho. The buildings were so appealing to the artists because they had an incredible amount of light, high ceilings and and huge floor plates.
Since the 1980s, large scale conversion of the area has transformed Tribeca into an upscale residential area. Its unique appeal is in its unique architecture: the once populated span of cast-iron factories and brick warehouses. Spanning between industrial and classical, the building stock is quite beautiful. There are also plenty of new developments- some which draw inspiration from the original architecture of the area like the Sterling Maison and some that are uniquely modern like 11 North Moore and 56 Leonard aka the Jenga Building.
The neighborhood has somehow managed to steer clear of a flood of chain stores (although they do exist, hello Target!) and is strewn with charming shops, restaurants and bakeries among its cobblestone streets. Hudson River Park offers playgrounds, mini golf, volleyball, tennis courts, manicured gardens and lawns, dog runs, beautiful views and even a restaurant and oyster bar on a historical sailboat: Grand Banks.
Everyone agrees that that the northern most border is Canal Street but the other borders have spread. Most locals currently consider it bordered by the Hudson River to the west, Broadway to the east, and the World Trade Center to the south. The combination of the building stock, amenities and lifestyle-enhancing qualities makes Tribeca incredibly family friendly and unlike any other neighborhood in the city.
Personally, my favorite little enclave is the historic district of Northwest Tribeca, which has seen enormous residential growth in even just the past 10 years. Vivi was born there and I distinctly remember her tottering down the streets amidst construction. Buildings that once stood have been converted or demolished to make way for the new. The Fairchild, Pearline Soap Factory, Sterling Mason, 250 West St, 70 Vestry, 443 Greenwich, and 290 West St to name a few. A new 96 room luxury hotel is also currently being constructed at 456 Greenwich Street (at Desbrosses). According to the press release, it will feature six full-service food and beverage venues; a 1,500-square-foot interior courtyard; a lavish, decadent, full-service spa; meeting space; and the largest screening room in Lower Manhattan.
FAVORITE TRIBECA SPOTS
Unique Attractions: Duane Park, Ghostbusters Firehouse, Staple Street, Hudson River Park
Restaurants: Max, Tiny’s, Locande Verde, Smith & Mills, Canal Street Market, Two Hands, Gotan, Little Park, Gunbae, Yves, Tutto Il Giorno, Terra, Macao Trading Co., Souths, Marc Forgione, The Greek, Estancia 460, Il Mulino, Mulberry & Vine, Brushstroke The Classics: Bubby’s, Odeon, Walker’s, Tribeca Grill
Shops: Stella (home goods & gifts), Roberta Roller Rabbit (women’s clothing/homegoods)The Armoury (men’s clothing), Shinola (watches, leather goods), Stone & Strand (jewelry), Schoolhouse Electric (unique lighting/home goods/gifts), Edon Manor (shoes), Let There be Neon (neon signs), Gloria Jewel (clothing), Q House of Basics (clothing), Nili Lotan (clothing), Otte (clothing), Consort (interior design)
Kids: Ever After (clothing), My Little Sunshine (clothing), Balloon Saloon (party supplies/novelty), Book Nook Enrichment (Literacy Studio), PlayGarden (indoor playspace), Dance with Miss Rachel, Downtown Dance Factory, Jemz (creative art workshops)
Also, check out Tribeca Citizen’s recap of all new openings in the neighborhood including restaurants, boutiques and fitness! I am dying to try the new hip hop yoga studio, Y7, opening on Leonard St!
NOTABLE NEW DEVELOPMENTS