Posts Tagged ‘New York City Bond Street’

Bond Street: chic and exclusive in the 1830s

May 1, 2011

Noho’s Bond Street is trendy—just as it was 170 years ago.

That’s when the city’s wealthy residents relocated from bustling, overcrowded downtown to this newly built street, a two-block stretch east of Broadway.

“In the 1830s, Bond Street was one of the city’s most fashionable. Lined with Greek Revival–style houses, it was a secluded, peaceful street whose most celebrated resident, Albert Gallatin, lived at No. 1,” writes Gerard H. Wolfe in New York: A Guide to the Metropolis, from 1983.

Bond Street was surrounded by luxury, particularly Colannade Row, the nine Greek Revival marble mansions around the corner on the elegant cul-de-sac Lafayette Place (now Lafayette Street).

Theaters and chic stores popped up nearby on Broadway. Bond Street “swells” hung around, visiting young women from well-off families.

But of course, Bond Street’s moment in the sun had to end. After the middle of the 19th century, light industry began moving in, and the wealthy moved northward.

Today, a few of the old Greek Revival houses survive. But it’s mostly cast-iron loft buildings for manufacturing, plus modern glass monstrosities.

At least the Belgian Block pavement hasn’t been replaced.