Rowhouses on West Houston Street
These four federal rowhouses at 197-203 (l. to r.) West Houston Street were built around 1820, and are very similar to the landmarked rowhouses of King Street in the King-Charlton-VanDam Historic District directly behind them. They are well-preserved examples of housing from this era, with minor alterations (notice the preserved lintels above the picture window inserted more recently into 201, much like at 129 and 131 MacDougal Street). (See map items #1 and #2.) Given the nearly executed plans to widen this stretch of Houston Street along with the rest of Houston Street, and the elimination of most houses on the street for industrial warehouses in the 1920ís and 30ís, these four housesí nearly 200 year tale of survival is particularly remarkable. Lack of landmark protections, however, means they could be lost or mutilated at any time.
This stretch of what is now known as Houston Street was actually first called Village Street, then Hamersly Street, and only much later annexed to the already extant Houston Street, which previously ended at Sixth Avenue. Click here to see historic map.
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