Noho & Nolita Overview
NoHo and Nolita are quite literally defined by where they are: North of Houston and North Of LIttle ITAly. Those names hint at a key part of the neighborhoods character - they are flying a little bit under the radar. Compared to the overflowing streets of SoHo, the tourist crowds of Little Italy, and the shops and bars of the Village, NoHo and Nolita are a little bit more restrained. There are certainly a number of chic bars, restaurants, and boutiques, but there are also quiet streets where the only people you are likely to see are your neighbors. The neighborhood has quietly gentrified as busy New Yorkers look for a slightly calmer place to go home at night.
In the the sections below, you'll get a glimpse into life in NoHo & Nolita. But before you go anywhere, make sure you scroll through the photos in the gallery below. Nothing can tell the story of a neighborhood as well as a few good photos.
NoHo & Nolita History
In the early 18th century, NoHo and Nolita were the place to be if you were a prominent New York City farming family. In fact, in 1748, it became the home of the city's first botanical garden. Residents flocked to the gardens for leisurely strolls in a manicured oasis. John J. Astor purchased the gardens in 1804 and eventually divided a portion of the land into buildable lots. In the early 1930s, Colonnade Row (also known as Grange Terrace), a row of nine Greek revival townhomes, was built there, with four of the nine still standing.
NoHo's population grew fourfold between 1825 and 1840. Land developers leveled hills, subdivided farms, and completed elaborate landfill projects. The area became more residential as New Yorkers pushed northwards to avoid the rapidly crowding southern part of the island.
In addition to being a residential area, NoHo was a major retail and wholesale dry goods center from the 1850s to 1910s. Architects were commissioned to build ornate stores and lofts, and 125 of these buildings are preserved in NoHo's Historic District. In fact, the areas was so commercialized that for many years, the neighborhood was known to locals as the Warehouse District. Today it takes its name from its position north of Houston Street.
Neighboring Nolita gets its own unusual name from its location north of Little Italy. Not too long ago, it was considered part of Little Italy and was home to thousands of Italian immigrants. Residents lived in crowded tenements and worked in factories, brickyards and slaughterhouses. Over time, the Italian population of Nolita declined as residents moved elsewhere. Lombardi's, the country's first pizza place, still operates in the neighborhood and is one of the countless businesses that were opened by Italian immigrants.
The streets of Nolita were made famous in Martin Scorsese's The Godfather movies. Scorsese's parents grew up in the neighborhood, and he lived there when he was a boy. Today, Nolita isn't quite like it was portrayed in The Godfather. It is home to restored tenements, celebrity residences, and fashionable boutiques and restaurants.
noho & Nolita Vibe
NoHo is bounded by Mercer Street to the west and the Bowery to the east, and from East 9th Street in the north to East Houston Street in the south. NoHo is primarily made up of loft apartments (large, open, and usually formerly industrial spaces), which make it a very popular and expensive place to live. NoHo is also very centrally located with plenty of old New York charm, which contributes to its reputation as one of the best New York City neighborhoods to live in.
Nolita is bounded in the north by Houston Street, in the east by the Bowery, in the south by Broome Street, and in the west by Lafayette Street. As we mentioned previously, this neighborhood used to be home to a large number of Italian residents, but in recent years they’ve all but disappeared. Over the past few decades, Nolita has said goodbye to the Italian nonnas of the early twentieth-century and welcomed an influx of relatively young and wealthy residents along with their accompanying trendy boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
Noho & Nolita Transportation
NoHo is centrally located, so it should be a pretty easy place to get to and from, but is just north of the patchwork of subways in the south of the city. Take a look before moving to make sure you can get where you need to go, because it can be deceptively difficult
NoHo and Nolita Subway & Walking Times
Noho & Nolita Guidebook Landmarks
When the library was constructed in 1849, it was well ahead of its time, one of the first libraries in the world and just one of two in New York City. John Jacob Astor, then one of the richest men in the world, funded the library on his deathbed, to create the first reference library in NYC. Although the library closed due to financial difficulties, it was later revived as a theater, and the books became the nucleus for another institution—the New York Public Library.
Merchant's House Museum
Step back in time at the 1832 Federal-style brick rowhouse at 29 East 4th Street. It's not only preserved on the outside, but on the inside too, with all its mid-19th-century charm. The gorgeous residence was home to a wealthy merchant's family for decades. In 1936, it was made into a museum, and still contains original furniture, personal belongings, clothing, photographs, and books from the family.
The Schermerhorn Building, at the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones Streets, was designed by Henry Hardenbergh, the same architect behind the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota Apartments. This building, while lesser known, was actually the first of Hardenbergh's to become landmarked. It sits on the site of the Schermerhorn mansion, home of one of the most prominent New York families in the 19th century (to give you an idea of just how important and wealthy they were, they intermarried with the Astors). The Romanesque Revival building's first tenant was a boys' clothing manufacturer.
NoHo & Nolita Insider LANDMARKS
A stately 19th-century structure at the corner of Houston and Lafayette Streets, the Puck Building gets its name from housing the offices of a humor magazine popular around the turn of the 20th century called Puck. Gilded statues on the building portray Puck, the mischievous sprite from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, who came to represent the magazine's sensibility. Since then it has been the home of printing and stationery companies, Spy Magazine, the Pratt Institute, NYU, and now the city's flagship REI outdoor equipment store.
NoHo & Nolita Parks & Recreation
Cooper Square (0.2 acres)
Alright, this really isn't much of a park, but we feel bad that NoHo doesn't have any major greenspaces Just like many New York apartments, don't consider this park small, it's just comfortable.
Noho & Nolita Costs
Unfortunately, because NoHo & Nolita are oftentimes combined with nearby neighborhoods such as the East Village and Greenwich Village, individual neighborhood real estate costs are not available. Generally speaking, NoHo & Nolita will be priced similarly to Greenwich Village. Sorry we can't be more helpful!