Lower West Side, Manhattan

Prior to the construction of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the World Trade Center, the area from roughly Liberty Street to Battery Place west of Broadway was host to a vibrant immigrant neighborhood called the Lower West Side. Initially populated by Irish and German immigrants, it later became a Middle Eastern enclave (known as the “Syrian Quarter” or “Little Syria”) and was subsequently home to a large Slavic population. The area’s major redevelopment in the mid-20th century nearly wiped the neighborhood off the map, but several buildings still exist to tell the story, and the Friends of the Lower West Side is determined to make sure this history is not lost. The group will appeal to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to protect a small area of significance, as well as expand its oral history program, publish a written history and offer walking tours to raise awareness.

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