Mobile Museum

The SoHo Memory Project Mobile Museum navigates the bustling urban environment of today’s SoHo while showing us a glimpse of its past. Using unconventional media, it chronicles the evolution of SoHo from farmland to high-end retail hub, charting its cycles of development and thus placing current day SoHo in the context of New York City’s history. This exhibition is designed to be accessible to all audiences by including multiple entry points: objects, ephemera, photographs, sound, and video, as well as unconventional media, including 3-D printed miniatures, comic books, LP record jackets, family photo albums, a smelling station, and even Viewmaster viewers.

Museum Outline

SoHo 1960-1980:

In the decades between 1960-1980, SoHo evolved from a manufacturing district to a vibrant artists community whose mythical image looms large in the public imagination. Innovations in the way people would LIVE, WORK, PLAY, and EAT in SoHo during this period had lasting influences on the social and cultural landscape of New York City.

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Live

The cast iron buildings of SoHo were built to house factories, not people. Artists sacrificed the basic comforts of a “home” in order to live and work in these vast, commercially-zoned spaces. The adaptive reuse of buildings and loft living, so common in New York City today, originated here.

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Work

Many residents of SoHo from as early as the 1950’s were artists who lived and worked in a single space. The notion of melding one’s personal and professional life into a single continuum, unusual at the time, is now a mainstream lifestyle choice.

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Play

Many residents of SoHo from as early as the 1950’s were artists who lived and worked in a single space. The notion of melding one’s personal and professional life into a single continuum, unusual at the time, is now a mainstream lifestyle choice.

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Eat

Although food was at times scarce, the SoHo community celebrated the act of eating as an art form as well as a daily necessity. FOOD, one of SoHo’s first restaurants, and Dean & Deluca, one of its first grocery stores, introduced New York City to new modes of eating and helped New Yorkers change the way they think about food.

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