Renovating a Loft
SoHo was, and still is as of 2018, an M1-5 neighborhood zoned only for light manufacturing and commercial — not residential — use. After the deindustrialization of the area that began in the 1950's, any lofts remained empty for quite some time until artists began moving in to what had become a desolate, dirty, and dangerous area. These new residents lived illegally in raw industrial lofts they made habitable by installing bathrooms and taping plastic sheets over the windows to keep out the cold. Living conditions were often uncomfortable at best.