Exploring Houston Street – Lower Manhattan, NYC
Spanning 2 miles in Lower Manhattan, Houston Street runs through several notable neighborhoods. This thoroughfare carries eastbound and westbound traffic through Greenwich Village, SoHo, Lower East Side, Alphabet City, and other historic districts. A walking tour on Houston Street leads to fine dining, chic entertainment venues, niche museums, and waterfront parks. Click to book your NYC Downtown Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour.
Houston Street Attractions & Walking Tours
East Houston Street stops at John V. Lindsay Park, which overlooks the East River. This waterfront green space has some of the best sports fields in Downtown Manhattan. The riverfront promenades also offer wonderful views of the Brooklyn skyline and the historic Williamsburg Bridge.
Occupying several blocks, Sara D. Roosevelt Park is another popular public space that’s located along Houston Street. This park is neighboured by the New Museum, which is housed in an ultramodern building that features galleries dedicated to modern art.
At the nearby International Center for Photography, you can learn about the history of photography. This museum frequently hosts temporary exhibits of stunning images that capture nature, urban settings, and other popular motifs in modern society.
As you stroll the busy Houston Street, you’ll also embrace historic architecture. For example, the iconic Puck Building stands at the corner of this street and Lafayette Street. Built in the 1880s, this edifice has a stunning facade in the Romanesque Revival style.
West Houston Street is also lined with some premier cultural attractions for visitors of all ages. Situated just one block south of the thoroughfare, the Children’s Museum of the Arts presents kid-friendly, interactive exhibits on various genres of the fine arts. Some of the galleries also focus on digital art, such as graphic design.
The western span of the busy road terminates at Pier 40 along the Hudson River. This pier is the departure point for sightseeing cruises on the river and the New York Harbor. Soccer fields and other recreational facilities are also included at Pier 40.
Houston Street honors William Houston, a statesman from Georgia who participated in the earliest political conventions of the United States of America. Some people falsely assume that the street is named after Sam Houston, who’s the namesake of Houston, Texas.
By the end of the 19th century, Houston Street was heavily commercialized and developed for residential use as well. Unlike some of the surrounding streets, this thoroughfare never had a significant concentration of tenements. In recent decades, Houston Street has evolved into one of the premier mixed-use areas in Manhattan.
Location and Transportation
Houston Street consists of multiple lanes that carry westbound and eastbound traffic in Lower Manhattan. This famous thoroughfare intersects Broadway, the Bowery, Lafayette Street, and other major roads that have north-south configurations. At its east end, Houston Street merges with FDR Drive, which runs along the perimeter of eastern Manhattan. At its west end, the street connects to West Street, which offers convenient access to all neighborhoods on the western side of the borough.
NYC Subway service is readily available at Houston Street. The underground station at Vickory Street is serviced by the 1 and 2 lines that connect Manhattan with Brooklyn. The Broadway-Lafayette station has tracks for the B, D, F, and M lines that also provide interborough connections. Houston Street also has some of the widest sidewalks in Lower Manhattan, so walking is practical and highly recommended for locals and visitors. A stroll on this thoroughfare leads to countless shops, cafes, restaurants, lounges, and other great commercial venues.