A History of Hudson Square
Situated in Lower Manhattan--between Greenwich Street on the west, Avenue of the Americas on the east, Houston Street on the north and Canal Street on the south--Hudson Square is one of the City's newest, most progressive business districts.
"Hudson Square" has been almost synonymous with "Trinity Church" since Queen Anne granted 215 acres on the West side of Manhattan to Trinity in 1705.
The neighborhood itself dates back to the 18th century, when it was a gated park surrounded by distinguished row houses. Trinity Vestrymen mapped and named the area's streets for fellow vestrymen such as Anthony VanDam, John Charlton, M.D., and Rufus King.
Through the years, commercial growth in Manhattan pressed steadily northward from the tip of the island; by the mid 1800s, Cornelius Vanderbilt's freight depot for the Hudson River Railroad had replaced the gated park and redefined the neighborhood.
As New York City evolved, so too did Trinity and Hudson Square--from a church farm to the printing capital of Manhattan.
In the 1980s, manufacturing continued a steep decline nationally and in New York City. From the end of World War II until today, manufacturing jobs in the city shrank from over 1 million to fewer than 100,000. In Manhattan, the decline was overwhelming. The printing industry, facing changing technology and the advent of the computer and digital publishing, declined precipitously.
Facing the decline of printing and manufacturing, Trinity helped transform the district into commercial space for the city's burgeoning creative and media industries, including graphic arts firms that evolved out of the printing industry.
Today, Trinity owns 40% of the built space in the Hudson Square area and is home to a diverse roster of high-profile companies that includes advertising agencies, designers, architects (both web and building), software companies, publishers and major corporations like MTV Networks, New York Magazine, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, WNYC Radio, Viacom, and CBS.More
Hudson Square and Trinity have become home to many of the Citys leading not-for-profits, including Atlantic Philanthropies, the Audubon Society and the Guggenheim Foundation. At 160 Varick, Trinity helped establish and houses a new business incubator to promote the growth of technology start-ups in the community.
In the fall of 2008, a community stakeholders charrette identified continuing problems facing the neighborhood and recommended changes to be implemented through a rezoning that could help the neighborhood evolve in the right direction. These changes included mixed use development, attracting better retail, and improving the streetscape and connection to the river.
The Hudson Square Connection is formed to improve streetscape, make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly, promote environmental sustainability, and work to mitigate Holland Tunnel traffic. To learn more about the BID, please visit hudsonsquare.com
Trinity thinks about the future of Hudson Square in decades and centuries. A new joint venture with Norges Bank Investment Management and Hines marks an exciting new chapter in Trinity’s commitment to Hudson Square as it continues its dynamic growth and transformation into a vibrant, 24-hour neighborhood.