The sense of space walking through 19th century New York City neighborhoods is very different as compared to walking through any other neighborhood in Manhattan. This difference becomes prominent when looking at the streets and their alignments to its surrounding public area. Both Greenwich village and SOHO had very distinct streetscapes emitting different experiences while walking through these spaces.
The most notable quality is seen on the streets themselves. While walking through 19th century NYC residential neighborhood in Greenwich village, I noticed the streets followed odd angled pathways that didn’t follow the usual 1811 grid plan. These odd angles gave a sense of surprise when reaching the end of each street because some met at a triangular point. These areas would usually become green spaces or triangular shaped buildings. Walking off the grid felt like a very condensed area where the buildings weren’t too high but they were built very close together from opposing streets. The space in between each sidewalk was much smaller than that of a regular one creating a sense of closeness within the neighborhood. The odd facing buildings changed positions every few blocks and the streets would make sharp turns frequently that made it difficult to navigate and know exactly how far I was from the starting location at Washington square park. However, there was one wide street that would lead to Washington Square park where most streets seem to have stemmed from creating a center focal point. These neighborhoods made it feel as though I was in an area that wasn’t in New York City.
Soho’s characteristics were defined by its buildings architecture. Most of the buildings had a lot of highly decorated buildings and a lot of cast iron designs throughout just like some residential gates in Greenwich village. However, the buildings in Soho were much taller than those found in Greenwich because of Soho’s industrial and commercial background in the area. The streets were also wider than the ones we visited at Greenwich bringing back the usual experience of walking through NYC streets. The streets in Soho were much more populated because of tourists and working people in the area.