TriBeCa: Wikis


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Coordinates: 40°43′06″N 74°00′28″W / 40.718266°N 74.007819°W / 40.718266; -74.007819

Hudson Street in TriBeCa.

TriBeCa is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York in the United States. Its name is an acronym, meaning "Triangle Below Canal Street". TriBeCa is bounded by Canal Street, West Street, Courtlandt Alley, Broadway, and Chambers Street. Recent mega-project construction developments have attempted to nominally expand TriBeCa's boundaries into the Financial District, as far south as Vesey Street.



In the early 1970s, a couple of years after artists in SoHo were able to legalize their live/work situation, artist and resident organizations in the area to the south, known then as Washington Market or simply the Lower West Side, sought to gain similar zoning status for their neighborhood.

A group of Lispenard Street artist/residents living on the block directly south of Canal Street between Church Street and Broadway, in an area now part of the landmarked Tribeca Historic District, joined the effort. Just as the members of the SoHo Artists Association coined ‘SoHo’ after looking at a City Planning map which marked the area as ‘So. Houston’ and shortened that to SoHo, these Lispenard Street residents likewise employed a City Planning map to describe their block.

Lispenard Street, the block immediately below Canal, is wide on the Church Street side but narrows towards the Broadway end. It appears as a triangle on City maps. The Lispenard residents decided to name their group the Triangle Below Canal Block Association, and, as activists had done in SoHo, shortened the group’s name to the TriBeCa Block Association.

A reporter covering the zoning story for the New York Times came across the block association’s submission to City Planning and mistakenly assumed that the name TriBeCa referred to the entire neighborhood, not just one block. Once the “newspaper of record” began referring to the neighborhood as TriBeCa, it stuck. <This was related by former resident and councilmember for the area, Kathryn Freed, who was involved in the 1970s TriBeCa zoning effort.


Textile Building(1901) in the TriBeCa Historic District

The TriBeCa name came to be applied to the area south of Canal Street, between Broadway and West Street, extending south to Chambers Street. [1] The area was New York City's first residential neighborhood, with residential development beginning in the late 1700s. By the mid 1800s the area transformed into a commercial center with large numbers of store and loft buildings constructed along Broadway in the 1850s and 1860s.

By the 1960s Tribeca's industrial base had all but vanished. The predominance of empty commercial space attracted many artists to the area in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, large scale conversion of the area has transformed Tribeca into an upscale residential area.

TriBeCa suffered financially after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but government grants and incentives helped the area rebound fairly quickly.[2] The Tribeca Film Festival was established to help contribute to the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan after 9/11. The festival also celebrates New York City as a major filmmaking center. The mission of the film festival is "to enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival experience." Tribeca is a popular filming location for movies and television shows.

Today, TriBeCa is one of America's most exclusive residential neighborhoods and is known for its celebrity denizens. In 2006 Forbes magazine ranked its 10013 zip-code as New York City's most expensive.[3]



Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1950 782
1960 382 −51.2%
1970 370 −3.1%
1980 5,949 1,507.8%
1990 8,386 41.0%
2000 10,395 24.0%

As of the 2000 census, there were 10,395 people residing in TriBeCa. The population density was 31,467 people per square mile (12,149/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 82.34% White, 7.96% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.89% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.66% from other races, and 3.02% from two or more races. 6.34% of the population were Hispanic of any race. Of the 18.2% of the population that was foreign born, 41.3% came from Europe, 30.1% from Asia, 11.1% from Latin America, 10.2% from North America and 7.3% from other.


TriBeCa is dominated by former industrial buildings that have been converted into residential buildings and lofts, similar to those of the neighboring SoHo Cast Iron Historic District. In the nineteenth and early twentieth, the neighborhood was a center of the textile/cotton trade.

Notable buildings in the neighborhoods include the historic neo-Renaissance Textile Building built in 1901 and designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the Powell Building, a designated Landmark on Hudson Street, which was designed by Carrère and Hastings and built in 1892.[4] At 73 Worth Street there is a handsome row of neo-Renaissance White Buildings built at the end of the Civil War in 1865. Other notable buildings include the New York Telephone Company building at 140 West Street with its Mayan-inspired Art Deco motif, and the former New York Mercantile Exchange at 6 Harrison Street.

During the late 1960s and '70s, abandoned and inexpensive TriBeCa lofts became hot-spot residences for young artists and their families because of the seclusion of lower Manhattan and the vast living space. Jim Stratton, a TriBeCa resident since this period, wrote the 1977 nonfiction book entitled "Pioneering in the Urban Wilderness," detailing his experiences renovating lower Manhattan warehouses into residences.

Historic Districts

Powell Building

The Tribeca Historic Districts are a combination of four different historic zones within the TriBeCa section of borough of Manhattan. The districts include Tribeca South & Extension, designated in 1992 and 2002; Tribeca East, designated in 1992; Tribeca West, designated in 1991; and Tribeca North, designated in 1992.

Landmark Name Date Designated
Tribeca East 01992-12-02 December 2, 1992 [2]
Tribeca North 01992-12-08 December 8, 1992 [3]
Tribeca South 01992-12-08 December 8, 1992 [4]; extension: 02002-11-19 November 19, 2002 [5]
Tribeca West 01991-05-07 May 7, 1991 [6]

reports/weehawken.pdf] [7]

Sites & attractions

  • Washington Market Park, bounded by Greenwich, Chambers, and West Streets, is a 1.61-acre (6,500 m2) park in TriBeCa that is popular with children for its large playground. The park also has a community gardens and hosts many community events.
  • New York Law School, a private, independent law school that was founded in 1891, has been located in several buildings in TriBeCa since 1962, principally along Worth Street between Church Street and West Broadway.
  • Stuyvesant High School, one of New York City's prized Specialized Science High Schools, calls TriBeCa home. The ten-story building is located on Chambers Street on the Hudson River, accessible via The Tribeca Bridge, a pedestrian bridge, over West Street. Stuyvesant is noted as being one of the best schools in the country.
  • St. John's University (Manhattan Campus) is located in TriBeCa. The 20,000+ school, houses some of its students here, as well as offering classes in science and film.
  • Public School 234 is the zoned elementary school for TriBeCa, located at the corner of Chambers Street and Greenwich Street.

Notable residents

Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal had high profiles in the district's revival when they co-produced the dramatic television anthology series TriBeCa in 1993 and co-founded the annual TriBeCa Film Festival in 2002. De Niro also claimed ownership of all domain names incorporating the text "Tribeca" for domain names with any content related to film festivals. In particular, he had a dispute with the owner of the website[11][12]


External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Alternative spellings

Proper noun

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  1. A region of lower-west Manhattan; the Triangle Below Canal Street.

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