Friday, October 30, 2020

How ’60s and ’70s New York Artists Fought for the Loft Law

Artsy’s Anna Louie Sussman gives a nice overview of New York City’s Loft Law,

SoHo’s artists fought their battle in three phases. The first, between 1961 and 1971, was for the right to live and work in their lofts, which were still zoned for industrial use. As the neighborhood grew in stature and real estate investors moved in, artists sought to limit the rezoning and conversion of lofts for residential use, under the theory that keeping loft housing illegal would discourage yuppie newcomers from swarming lower Manhattan. By the late 1970s, artists needed protections from the effects of gentrification, eventually resulting in the Loft Law, with its rental protections for tenants.



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