Borough and State: Manhattan, New York
Listed: Tribeca West – 1991; Tribeca East – 1992; Tribeca North – 1992; Tribeca South – 1992, expanded in 2002
Type of district: certified local historic district
Main Intersection: Hudson and North Moore Streets
Tribeca takes its name from Triangle Below Canal, mistakenly taken as the name for the entire neighborhood after a group of activists used it to describe their block in the 1960s. Tribeca, or the Lower West Side or Washington Market as the neighborhood was more commonly known historically, was a residential district in the 18th century, although that character was almost completely obliterated during the mid-19th century as it became a commercial district. During that period, the eastern part of Tribeca became a textile manufacturing haven and later the western portion of the neighborhood became a grocery center, an extension of the neighboring Washington Market.
Tribeca is filled with large warehouse and loft-style buildings that housed its industrial concerns. The earlier buildings in the eastern part of the district are mainly Italianate, while the later ones to the west are more commonly Romanesque Revival and of brick construction. In the second half of the 20th century, these then inexpensive loft buildings became popular homes for artists and their families largely due to their size and cost.