For other uses, see Tribeca (disambiguation).

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

Textile Building (1901) in the Tribeca Historic District

Tribeca /trˈbɛkə/, originally written as TriBeCa, is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Its name is a syllabic abbreviation from "Triangle Below Canal Street". The "triangle", or more accurately, a trapezoid, is bounded by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway, and either Chambers, Vesey, or Murray Streets.

The neighborhood began as farmland, became residential in the early 19th century, then transitioned into a mercantile one centered around produce, dry goods, and textiles, before being colonized by artists and then actors, models, entrepreneurs and other celebrities. The neighborhood is home to the Tribeca Film Festival, which was created in response to the September 11 attacks, to reinvigorate the neighborhood and downtown after the destruction caused by the terrorist attacks.[1]



Tribeca is one of a number of neighborhoods in New York City whose names are syllabic abbreviations or acronyms, including SoHo (South of Houston Street), NoHo (North of Houston Street), Nolita (North of Little Italy), NoMad (North of Madison Square), DUMBO (District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and BoCoCa, the last of which is actually a collection of neighborhoods (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens).

The name was coined in the early 1970s and originally applied to the area bounded by Broadway and Canal, Lispenard, and Church Streets. which appears to be a triangle on city planning maps. Residents of this area formed the TriBeCa Artists' Co-op in filing legal documents connected to a 1973 zoning dispute. According to a local historian, the name was misconstrued by a newspaper reporter as applying to a much larger area, which is how it came to be the name of the current neighborhood.[2]


The area now known as Tribeca, or TriBeCa, was farmed by Dutch settlers to New Amsterdam, and was later part of the large tract of land given to Trinity Church by Queen Anne in 1705. In 1807, the church built St. John's Chapel on Varick Street and then laid out St. John's Park, bounded by Laight Street, Varick Street, Ericsson Place, and Hudson Street. The church also built Hudson Square, a development of brick houses which surrounded the park, which would become the model for Gramercy Park. The area was among the first residential neighborhoods developed in New York City beyond the city's colonial boundaries of the city, and remained primarily residential until the 1840s.[1]

Beginning in the 1840s and then continuing after the American Civil War, shipping in New York City – which then consisted only of Manhattan – shifted in large part from the East River and the area around South Street to the Hudson River, where the longer piers could more easily handle the larger ships which were then coming into use. In addition, the dredging of the sand bars which lay across the entrance to New York Harbor from the Atlantic Ocean made it easier for ship to navigate to the piers on the Hudson, rather than use the "back door" via the East River to the piers there.[3][4] Later, the Hudson River piers also received freight via railroad cars ferried across the river from New Jersey.[5]

"Radio Row", seen here in 1934, was displaced by the building of the World Trade Center. (Photo by Berenice Abbott)

The increased shipping encouraged the expansion of the Washington Market – a wholesale produce market which opened in 1813 as "Bear Market" – from the original market buildings to buildings throughout its neighborhood, taking over houses and warehouses to use for the storage of produce, including butter, cheese and eggs.[4][1] In the mid-19th century, the neighborhood was the center of the dry goods and textile industries in the city, and St. John's Park was turned into a freight depot.[1] Later, the area also featured fireworks outlets, pets stores, radios – which were clustered in a district which was displaced by the building of the World Trade Center, sporting goods, shoes, and church supplies.[5]

Eventually, in the 20th century, after the construction of the Holland Tunnel from 1920 to 1927, and the transition of freight shipping from ships and railroads to trucks,[6] the truck traffic generated by the market and other businesses caused considerable congestion in the area, which provoked the building between 1929 and 1951 of the Miller Highway, an elevated roadway which came to be called the West Side Highway, the purpose of which was to handle through automobile traffic, which thus did not have to deal with the truck congestion at street level. Because of a policy of "deferred maintenance", the elevated structure began to fall apart in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the highway was shut down in 1973. The roadway project planned to replace it, called Westway, was fought by neighborhood activists, and was eventually killed by environmental concerns. Instead, West Street was rebuilt to handle through traffic.[4][1]

The produce market moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx in the 1960s, and the city put an urban renewal plan into effect which involved the demolition of many old buildings, with the intent of building high-rise residential towers, office buildings and schools. Some of these were constructed, including Independence Plaza in 1975 on Washington Street, the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1980, and Washington Market Park in 1981.[1] Some warehouse buildings were converted to residential use, and lofts began to be utilized by artists, who lived and worked in their spaces, a model which had been pioneered in nearby SoHo.[4] 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 the "Lower West Side", sought to gain similar zoning status for their neighborhood. One of the neighborhood groups called themselves the "Triangle Below Canal Block Association", and, as activists had done in SoHo, shortened the group’s name to the Tribeca Block Association. The Tribeca name came to be applied to the area south of Canal Street, between Broadway and West Street, extending south to – as variously defined – Chambers, Vesey,[7][8] or Murray Street.[1]

Map of Tribeca (excluding the portion south of Chambers Street) and major parks and transit connections.


Several streets in the area are named after Anthony Lispenard Bleecker and the Lispenard family. Beach Street was created in the late 18th century and was the first street on or adjacent to the farm of Anthony Lispenard Bleecker, which was just south of what is now Canal Street; the name of the street is a corruption of the name of Paul Bache, a son-in-law of Anthony Lispenard.[9][10] Lispenard Street in Tribeca is named for the Lispenard family[11], and Bleecker Street in NoHo was named for Anthony Lispenard Bleecker.[12]

By the mid-19th century the area transformed into a commercial center, with large numbers of store and loft buildings constructed along Broadway in the 1850s and 1860s. Development in the area was spurred by New York City Subway construction, namely the extension of the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line (today's 1 2 3 trains), which opened for service in 1918, and the accompanying extension of Seventh Avenue and the widening of Varick Street during subway construction in 1914, both of resulted in better access to the area for vehicles and for subway riders. The area was also served by the IRT Ninth Avenue Line, an elevated train line on Greenwich Street demolished in 1940. However, by the 1960s, Tribeca's industrial base had all but vanished, and 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.

In 1996, the Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour was founded as a non-profit, artist-run organization with the mission to empower the working artists of Tribeca while providing an educational opportunity for the public. For 15 years, the annual free walking tour through artist studios in Tribeca has allowed people to get a unique glimpse into the lives of Tribeca's best creative talent.[13] Tribeca suffered both physically and financially after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but government grants and incentives helped the area rebound fairly quickly.[14] 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.

By the early 21st century, Tribeca became one of Manhattan's most fashionable and desirable neighborhoods, well known for its celebrity residents. Its streets teem with art galleries, boutique shops, restaurants, and bars.[1] In 2006, Forbes magazine ranked its 10013 zip code as New York City's most expensive (however, the adjacent, low-income neighborhood of Chinatown, also uses the 10013 zip code).[15][16] As of 2010, Tribeca was the safest neighborhood in New York City, according to NYPD and CompStat statistics.[17]

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%
2010 17,056 64.1%


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 regions.


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 19th and early 20th centuries, 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.[18] 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, between Vesey and Barclay, 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.

Powell Building
AT&T Long Distance Building at 32 Avenue of the Americas
Church & Chambers Street
Church & Reade Street
H&L 8 firehouse at Varick and N. Moore Streets

Historic districtsEdit

There are four New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission-designated historic districts within Tribeca:

  • Tribeca West – designated May 7, 1991[23]
  • Tribeca East – designated December 2, 1992[24]
  • Tribeca North – designated December 8, 1992[25]
  • Tribeca South – designated December 8, 1992[26]
  • Tribeca South Extension – designated November 19, 2002[27]

Notable peopleEdit

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[46][47]

In popular cultureEdit

Although Wizards of Waverly Place includes a fictional "Tribeca Academy," exterior shots were filmed at P.S. 40 on East 20th Street, between First Avenue and Second Avenue in midtown Gramercy Park.[48] In addition, a fictional "Tribeca High School" appears in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Granting Immunity." Local radio station WHTZ's studio is located here. In the third book of the Witches of East End series, Winds of Salem, the Oracle, an almighty god from Asgard, lives in Tribeca.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Gold, Joyce "Tribeca" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (2010), The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2 , p.1333
  2. ^ Schneider, Daniel B. (September 2, 2001) "F.Y.I.: The Original Tri" The New York Times
  3. ^ Eldredge, Niles & Horenstein, Sidney (2014). Concrete Jungle: New York City and Our Last Best Hope for a Sustainable Future. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-520-27015-2. 
  4. ^ a b c d White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867 , p.59
  5. ^ a b Federal Writers' Project (1939), New York City Guide, New York: Random House, ISBN 0-403-02921-X  (Reprinted by Scholarly Press, 1976; often referred to as WPA Guide to New York City), pp.73-80
  6. ^ Bradley, Betsey (December 8, 1982) "Tribeca North Historic District Designation Report" New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission
  7. ^ "Tribeca - New York City Neighborhood - NYC". New York. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Tribeca, Manhattan, New York, NY" Google Maps
  9. ^ Moscow, Henry (1978), The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins, New York: Hagstrom, ISBN 0823212750 , p.26
  10. ^ Feirstein, Sanna (2001), Naming New York: Manhattan Places & How They Got Their Names, New York: New York University, p. 43, ISBN 978-0-8147-2712-6 
  11. ^ Feirstein, Sanna (2001), Naming New York: Manhattan Places & How They Got Their Names, New York: New York University, p. 45, ISBN 978-0-8147-2712-6 
  12. ^ Feirstein, Sanna (2001), Naming New York: Manhattan Places & How They Got Their Names, New York: New York University, p. 45, ISBN 978-0-8147-2712-6 
  13. ^ "Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour (TOAST)". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  14. ^ Responding to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: Lessons from Relief and Recovery in NYC Archived February 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Most Expensive ZIP Codes 2006, Forbes, accessed November 6, 2006
  16. ^ "10013 Zip Code (New York, New York)". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  17. ^ Manley, Charles. "The Safest and Most Dangerous Areas of New York City" on the Yahoo! Voices website
  18. ^ Gray, Christopher (June 25, 2000). "Streetscapes/105 Hudson Street; A TriBeCa Taste of the Young Carrere & Hastings". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Fiterman Hall is now open!". Borough of Manhattan Community College. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  20. ^ Plagianos, Irene. "There's a New Ghostbusters Logo at TriBeCa's famed Ladder 8 Firehouse",, July 7, 2015. Accessed July 19, 2016. "TriBeCa's famed Ladder 8 firehouse — used as the headquarters for the ghoul hunting troupe in the classic 1984 comedy — has an updated Ghostbusters emblem painted on the sidewalk outside its 12 N. Moore Street firehouse."
  21. ^ Puglise, Nicole. "Original Ghostbusters firehouse gets a new feature: a women's bathroom; The 1903 Manhattan firehouse which featured in the original 1984 film is undergoing major renovations, in part to accommodate female employees", The Guardian, July 13, 2016. Accessed July 19, 2016. "The exterior of the building was used for the 1984 film and its 1989 sequel, as well as an episode of Seinfeld and the Will Smith movie Hitch."
  22. ^ Washington Market Park, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Accessed July 19, 2016.
  23. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca West Historic District Designation Report"
  24. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca East Historic District Designation Report"
  25. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca North Historic District Designation Report"
  26. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca South Historic District Designation Report"
  27. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca South Historic District Extension Designation Report"
  28. ^ Staff. "Albee's Loft; Edward Albee's 6,000-square-foot loft in a former cheese warehouse in New York's Tribeca neighborhood houses his expansive collection of fine art, utilitarian works and sculptures. (See related article.)", Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2010. Accessed July 1, 2016.
  29. ^ Shapiro, Julie (May 5, 2011). "Artist's 9/11 Sculpture Rises in TriBeCa". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  30. ^ a b David, Amrk. "Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly On the Move Again", Variety, January 14, 2012. Accessed July 19, 2016. "It was only about 3.5 years ago that English-born movie actor Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind, The Da Vinci Code, A Knight's Tale) and Brooklyn-bred Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem For A Dream, Blood Diamond) paid $6,920,000 for a full floor loft-type penthouse apartment on the edge of New York City’s star-stocked TriBeCa neighborhood."
  31. ^ Richards, David. "Bogosian in the Burbs", The Washington Post, May 5, 1996. Accessed July 19, 2016. "Yet all the signs suggest he's no longer the fringe personality he once was. He, his wife and two young sons live in a spacious loft in TriBeCa, and he recently rented a suite of offices for Ararat Productions, his own production company (named after the mountain where Noah's Ark landed)."
  32. ^ Osterhout, Jacob E. "Ed Burns manages to stay grounded in his native Tribeca despite success over last decade", New York Daily News, April 21, 2011. Accessed July 19, 2016. "Meandering through the streets of his Tribeca neighborhood in jeans and shell-toe Adidas, Burns puts on no airs."
  33. ^ Clarke, Gerald. "Mariah Carey's New York TriplexGlitter and glamour sound a high note in the singer's Manhattan home, decorated by Mario Buatta", Architectural Digest, October 31, 2001. Accessed July 19, 2016. "Now, after a decade in which Carey has been the world’s most popular female vocalist, her albums and singles selling more than one hundred and fifty million copies; now, after a new contract with Virgin Records that will bring her nearly one hundred and twenty million dollars for her next five CDs; now, after the September opening of her first movie, the semiautobiographical Glitter; and now, after completion of a spacious triplex in Tribeca that harks back to an era Carey dreams about—the golden age of Hollywood."
  34. ^ Moylan, Brian (April 27, 2010) Does Daniel Craig's Fabulous New Penthouse Make Him Gay? Gawker Retrieved May 27, 2010
  35. ^ Finn, Robin. "A Lena Dunham Locale", The New York Times, November 22, 2013. Accessed February 28, 2017. "The 24-by-17-foot 'children’s wing' at the back of the main level still has its west-facing window but no longer has the sibling-friendly room divider that was in place when Lena, who moved out in 2012, and her younger sister, Grace, who is in her final year of college, shared it and the green-tile bathroom. The sisters and their respective bedrooms figured prominently in Tiny Furniture."
  36. ^ Garvey, Marianne; Niemietz, Brian; and Cartwright, Lachlan. "Z100's Elvis Duran buys a penthouse in Tribeca", New York Daily News, January 20, 2014. Accessed February 28, 2017. "Elvis Duran, the lovable Z100 'Morning Show' host, has bought himself a 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom penthouse in the Leonard building in Tribeca and is planning an immediate move."
  37. ^ U2's Edge Settles into $4.3 Million Tribeca Penthouse Retrieved June 17, 2007
  38. ^ "Shaping Identity", Detroit Institute of Arts. Accessed February 28, 2017. "The artist Marisol Escobar is a sculptor born in Paris of Venezuelan lineage.... She currently lives and works in TriBeCa, in New York City"
  39. ^ Serby, Steve. "Serby’s Sunday Q & A with ... Marian Gaborik", New York Post, April 8, 2012. Accessed February 28, 2017. "Q: You live in the city? A: I’m down in Tribeca."
  40. ^ Freydkin, Donna (April 27, 2007). "Stars toast Tribeca artists at Chanel fete". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  41. ^ Harris, Liz (July 30, 2013) "Where Rent Is Stabilized, Reopening After Storm Is No Certainty" The New York Times
  42. ^ Weiss, Murray; Italiano, Laura & Mangan, Dan (October 3, 2009). "Sex-diary find set off 'extort'". New York Post. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  43. ^ Klein, Jeff Z. "A Ranger Rolls Up His Sleeves and Takes a Big Role in Hurricane Relief", The New York Times, November 22, 2012. Accessed February 28, 2017. "Richards, whose apartment in TriBeCa escaped damage from the storm, said this was 'what anyone in my position should do.'"
  44. ^ Schoeneman, Deborah (May 21, 2005). "The Return of Canastel's". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2007. 
  45. ^ Clemence, Sara (May 13, 2005). "House Of Stewart". Forbes. Retrieved June 17, 2007. 
  46. ^ Davis, Erik (January 2, 2007). "Robert De Niro: Raging Bully?". Archived from the original on January 4, 2007. 
  47. ^ Johnson, Richard; et al. (December 31, 2006). "I am Tribeca, De Niro claims". New York Post. Archived from the original on January 10, 2007. 
  48. ^ Wizards of Waverly Place Trivia Facts. ShareTV. Retrieved on 2013-07-19.

External linksEdit

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