Posts Tagged ‘buildings of Soho’

The foundries that built cast-iron Soho

February 16, 2010

Cast-iron architecture is all over New York City. But Soho just might be the cast-iron capital of the world—a handful of streets packed with dozens of beautifully preserved iron buildings (like these on Broadway between Prince and Spring, circa 1905.)

Besides their lovely facades, cast-iron structures had a few other advantages: They were less susceptible to fire, and they allowed for huge windows, providing lots of light and air.

But someone had to supply the iron and the manpower to construct them. If you look closely at the base of the buildings, you can still see some of the plaques bearing the names of the foundries who did the work.

Lindsay, Graff & Mecquier helped build several Soho buildings, including 83 Grand Street—a former silk warehouse put up in 1872.

S.B. Ferdon’s work can be seen on Wooster Street:

This Aetna Iron Works inscription is interesting because of the street the foundry was located on: Goerck Street.

Goerck Street? It doesn’t exist anymore. It used to be a bleak little strip near the Williamsburg Bridge renamed Baruch Place (after physician Simon Baruch) in 1933.