A Walking Tour of Cast Iron Architecture in SoHo is a new and interactive mobile app created to allow users to explore the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District and learn about the world’s largest concentration of cast-iron-front buildings. The app covers more than 50 points of interest in the Historic District, using rich images from the photography collections at the Museum of the City of New York and the New York Public Library, among others, to tell the story of the neighborhood with the highest concentration of iron-front buildings in the world.
The walking tour highlights structures with cast-iron fronts built by Victorian businessmen between approximately 1850 and 1890 when iron architecture was at its peak of popularity. The tour will bring users to the oldest standing iron-fronted building in the city, the 1856 Haughwout Building, as well as the last iron-fronted building, erected in 1901 at 550 Broadway. The app will help users recognize iron buildings and their architectural styles and will explain how they were manufactured and erected. Users are encouraged to bring a tiny pocket magnet on the self-guided tour — a magnet will stick to any ferrous metal even through thick layers of paint — a great way to test if a structure is cast iron!