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The SoHo Artists Association was loosely formed in 1968 to centralize lobbying efforts to change New York City zoning laws to allow artists to live and work in SoHo loft spaces zoned for manufacturing. At that time, spaces that were vacated by manufacturers were being converted to studios by artists drawn by cheap rents, expansive spaces, and available natural lighting. Many artists also began to occupy their studio spaces, although zoning laws did not permit residency. The group voted to call itself the SoHo Artists Association at the same time they shortened the area designation on a city planning commission map from “South of Houston.” The name for the neighborhood stuck and became a model for other neighborhood acronyms in New York City. (source)
This collection was digitized thanks to a generous Archival Assistance Grant from the New York Preservation Archive Project and the Shelby White & Leon Levy Foundation.