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Title: Tribeca  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Manhattan, Chinatown, Manhattan, Battery Park City, Common (rapper), Duane Park
Collection: Economy of New York City, Neighborhoods in Manhattan, Tribeca, Warehouse Districts of the United States
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Map of Tribeca (excluding the portion south of Chambers Street) and major parks and transit connections.
Textile Building (1901) in the Tribeca Historic District

Tribeca , originally written as TriBeCa, is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Its name is a portmanteau from "Triangle Below Canal Street". The "triangle", which is actually more of a trapezoidal shape, is bounded by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway, and either Chambers or Vesey Streets.[1] The neighborhood is home to the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tribeca is one of a number of neighborhoods in New York City whose name is either a portmanteau or an acronym, including SoHo, NoHo, Nolita, NoMad, Dumbo and BoCoCa, the latter of which is actually a collection of neighborhoods.


  • History 1
    • Etymology 1.1
    • Development 1.2
  • Demographics 2
  • Places 3
    • Historic districts 3.1
  • Notable people 4
  • In popular culture 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8



The Tribeca name came to be applied to the area south of Canal Street, between Broadway and West Street, extending south to Lower West Side, sought to gain similar zoning status for their neighborhood. A group of Lispenard Street artist/residents living on triangular shaped tax block number 210, directly south of Canal Street between Church Street and Broadway, in an area now part of the landmarked Tribeca Historic District, joined the effort. Just as the members of the SoHo Artists Association called their neighborhood "SoHo" after looking at a City Planning map which marked the area as "South of Houston" (city planners had been casually using the word "SoHo" as well), these Lispenard Street residents likewise employed a City Planning map to describe their block.

Lispenard Street, east-west as is Canal, is only two blocks long and creates the first block south of Canal from West Broadway to Broadway. The Canal-Lispenard block that runs from Church Street to Broadway is wide at Church Street but is narrower at Broadway. Thus, it appears somewhat triangular on City maps, unlike a rectangle as most city blocks are depicted. The Lispenard Street residents decided to name their group the Triangle Below Canal Block Association, and, as activists had done in SoHo, shortened the group’s name to the Tribeca Block Association. A reporter covering the zoning story for The New York Times came across the block association’s submission to City Planning, and mistakenly assumed that the name Tribeca referred to the entire neighborhood, not just one block. Once the “newspaper of record” began referring to the neighborhood as Tribeca, it stuck. This was related by former resident and councilmember for the area, Kathryn Freed, who was involved in the 1970s Tribeca zoning effort.


The area was among the first residential neighborhoods developed in New York beyond the boundaries of the city during colonial times, with residential development beginning in the late 18th century.

Several streets in the area are named after Anthony Lispenard Bleecker. 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.[2] Lispenard Street, as well as Bleecker Street in NoHo, are named for similar reasons.

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.[3] Tribeca suffered both physically and financially after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but government grants and incentives helped the area rebound fairly quickly.[4] 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. 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).[5][6] As of 2010, Tribeca was the safest neighborhood in New York City, according to NYPD and CompStat statistics.[7]


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.


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 & N. Moore Streets

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.[8] 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.

Historic districts

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

  • Tribeca West – designated May 7, 1991[10]
  • Tribeca East – designated December 2, 1992[11]
  • Tribeca North – designated December 8, 1992[12]
  • Tribeca South – designated December 8, 1992[13]
  • Tribeca South Extension – designated November 19, 2002[14]

Notable people

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[24][25]

In popular culture

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.[26] 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.

See also


  1. ^ "Tribeca - New York City Neighborhood - NYC".  
  2. ^ Henry Moscow (1990). The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. Fordham University Press. p. 26.  
  3. ^ "Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour (TOAST)". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  4. ^ Responding to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: Lessons from Relief and Recovery in NYC Archived February 19, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Most Expensive ZIP Codes 2006, Forbes, accessed November 6, 2006
  6. ^ "10013 Zip Code (New York, New York)". Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  7. ^ Manley, Charles. "The Safest and Most Dangerous Areas of New York City" on the Yahoo! Voices website
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Fiterman Hall is now open!". Borough of Manhattan Community College. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca West Historic District Designation Report"
  11. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca East Historic District Designation Report"
  12. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca North Historic District Designation Report"
  13. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca South Historic District Designation Report"
  14. ^ "NYCLPC Tribeca South Historic District Extension Designation Report"
  15. ^ "Shapiro, Julie. ''Artist's 9/11 Sculpture Rises in TriBeCa ''". 2011-05-05. Retrieved 2014-08-15. 
  16. ^ Does Daniel Craig's Fabulous New Penthouse Make Him Gay? Retrieved May 27, 2010
  17. ^ A Lena Dunham Locale Retrieved October 10, 2014
  18. ^ acre-malibu-property/517/celebrities U2's Edge Settles into $4.3 Million Tribeca Penthouse Retrieved June 17, 2007
  19. ^ Freydkin, Donna (April 27, 2007). "Stars toast Tribeca artists at Chanel fete". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  20. ^ NY Times, Liz Harris, Where Rent Is Stabilized, Reopening After Storm Is No Certainty
  21. ^ Weiss, Murray; Italiano, Laura; Mangan, Dan (October 3, 2009). "'"Sex-diary find set off 'extort. New York Post. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  22. ^ Schoeneman, Deborah (May 21, 2005). "The Return of Canastel's". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2007. 
  23. ^ Clemence, Sara (May 13, 2005). "House Of Stewart". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved June 17, 2007. 
  24. ^ Davis, Erik (January 2, 2007). "Robert De Niro: Raging Bully?". Archived from the original on October 10, 2015. 
  25. ^ "I am Tribeca, De Niro claims". New York Post. December 31, 2006. Archived from the original on January 10, 2007. 
  26. ^ Wizards of Waverly Place Trivia Facts. ShareTV. Retrieved on 2013-07-19.

External links

Community groups and organizations

  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • Tribeca Trust - a community organization working on historic preservation and public spaces


  • Tribeca in the 1970s – Early photos of the neighborhood

Neighborhood guides

  • TriBeCa – Neighborhood history, dining, shopping, arts and entertainments (maintained by the Tribeca Organization)
  • Tribeca Family Festival
  • Tribeca Neighborhood Profile –
  • Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour (TOAST)
  • Tribeca Walking Tour

News and blogs

  • Battery Park Blog - Covering Battery Park City, the Financial District, and Tribeca
  • The Battery Park City Broadsheet - Local news throughout Battery Park City, Tribeca, South Street Seaport and the Financial District
  • Downtown Express – Weekly, local newspaper of Lower Manhattan
  • The Tribeca Citizen
  • The Tribeca Trib – The Tribeca Trib; neighborhood newspaper in circulation since 1994
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