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Coordinates: 40°43′06″N 74°00′28″W / 40.718266°N 74.007819°W / 40.718266; -74.007819

Tribeca, sometimes written as TriBeCa, and pronounced /trˈbɛkə/, is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Its name is an acronym from "Triangle Below Canal Street"; the "triangle" – actually closer to a trapezoid, or a triangle with the peak cut off – is bounded by Canal Street, West Street, Broadway, and Vesey Street.[1] The neighborhood is home to the Tribeca Film Festival.


Textile Building (1901) in the Tribeca Historic District

The Tribeca name came to be applied to the area south of Canal Street, between Broadway and West Street, extending south to Chambers Street. The area was among the first residential neighborhoods developed in New York beyond the boundaries of the city during colonial times, with residential development beginning in the late 18th century. By the mid-19th century the area transformed into a commercial center, with large numbers of store and loft buildings constructed along Broadway in the 1850s and 1860s.

Development in the area was spurred by the extension of the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, which opened for service in 1918, and the accompanying extension of Seventh Avenue and the widening of Varick Street during subway construction in 1914. That resulted in better access to the area both for vehicles and for travelers using public transportation. The area was also served by the IRT Ninth Avenue Line, an elevated train line on Greenwich Street demolished in 1940.

By the 1960s Tribeca's industrial base had all but vanished. The predominance of empty commercial space attracted many artists to the area in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, large scale conversion of the area has transformed Tribeca into an upscale residential area.

In 1996, the Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour was founded as a non-profit, artist-run organization with the mission to empower the working artists of Tribeca while providing an educational opportunity for the public. For 15 years, the annual free walking tour through artist studios in Tribeca has allowed people to get a unique glimpse into the lives of Tribeca's best creative talent.[2] Tribeca suffered financially after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but government grants and incentives helped the area rebound fairly quickly.[3] The Tribeca Film Festival was established to help contribute to the long-term recovery of lower Manhattan after 9/11. The festival also celebrates New York City as a major filmmaking center. The mission of the film festival is "to enable the international film community and the general public to experience the power of film by redefining the film festival experience." Tribeca is a popular filming location for movies and television shows.

Today, Tribeca is one of America's most fashionable and desirable neighborhoods and is known for its celebrity residents. In 2006 Forbes magazine ranked its 10013 zip code as New York City's most expensive (however, the adjacent, low-income neighborhood of Chinatown, also uses the 10013 zip code).[4][5] As of 2010, Tribeca was the safest neighborhood in New York City, according to NYPD and CompStat statistics. [6]


In the early 1970s, a couple of years after artists in SoHo were able to legalize their live/work situation, artist and resident organizations in the area to the south, known then as Washington Market or simply the Lower West Side, sought to gain similar zoning status for their neighborhood.

A group of Lispenard Street artist/residents living on tax block number 210, directly south of Canal Street between Church Street and Broadway, in an area now part of the landmarked Tribeca Historic District, joined the effort. Just as the members of the SoHo Artists Association called their neighborhood "SoHo" after looking at a City Planning map which marked the area as "South of Houston" (city planners had been casually using the word "SoHo" as well), these Lispenard Street residents likewise employed a City Planning map to describe their block.[citation needed]

Lispenard Street, east-west as is Canal, is only two blocks long and creates the first block south of Canal from West Broadway to Broadway. The Canal-Lispenard block that runs from Church Street to Broadway is wide at Church Street but is narrower at Broadway. Thus, it appears somewhat triangular on City maps, unlike a rectangle as most city blocks are depicted. The Lispenard Street residents decided to name their group the Triangle Below Canal Block Association, and, as activists had done in SoHo, shortened the group’s name to the Tribeca Block Association.

A reporter covering the zoning story for The New York Times came across the block association’s submission to City Planning, and mistakenly assumed that the name Tribeca referred to the entire neighborhood, not just one block. Once the “newspaper of record” began referring to the neighborhood as Tribeca, it stuck. This was related by former resident and councilmember for the area, Kathryn Freed, who was involved in the 1970s Tribeca zoning effort.[citation needed]


Historical population

As of the 2000 census, there were 10,395 people residing in Tribeca. The population density was 31,467 people per square mile (12,149/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 82.34% White, 7.96% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 4.89% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.66% from other races, and 3.02% from two or more races. 6.34% of the population were Hispanic of any race. Of the 18.2% of the population that was foreign born, 41.3% came from Europe, 30.1% from Asia, 11.1% from Latin America, 10.2% from North America and 7.3% from other regions.


Tribeca is dominated by former industrial buildings that have been converted into residential buildings and lofts, similar to those of the neighboring SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the neighborhood was a center of the textile/cotton trade.

Notable buildings in the neighborhoods include the historic neo-Renaissance Textile Building built in 1901 and designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the Powell Building, a designated Landmark on Hudson Street, which was designed by Carrère and Hastings and built in 1892.[7] At 73 Worth Street there is a handsome row of neo-Renaissance White Buildings built at the end of the Civil War in 1865. Other notable buildings include the New York Telephone Company building at 140 West Street with its Mayan-inspired Art Deco motif, and the former New York Mercantile Exchange at 6 Harrison Street.

During the late 1960s and '70s, abandoned and inexpensive Tribeca lofts became hot-spot residences for young artists and their families because of the seclusion of lower Manhattan and the vast living space. Jim Stratton, a Tribeca resident since this period, wrote the 1977 nonfiction book entitled "Pioneering in the Urban Wilderness," detailing his experiences renovating lower Manhattan warehouses into residences.

Powell Building
AT&T Long Distance Building at 32 Avenue of the Americas
Church & Chambers Street
Church & Reade Street

Historic districts[edit]

The Tribeca Historic Districts are a combination of four different historic zones within the Tribeca section of the borough of Manhattan. The districts include Tribeca South & Extension, designated in 1992 and 2002; Tribeca East, designated in 1992; Tribeca West, designated in 1991; and Tribeca North, designated in 1992.

Landmark nameDate designated
Tribeca EastDecember 2, 1992[8]
Tribeca NorthDecember 8, 1992[9]
Tribeca SouthDecember 8, 1992;[10] extension: November 19, 2002[11]
Tribeca WestMay 7, 1991[12]

Sites and attractions[edit]

Notable residents and former residents[edit]

Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal had high profiles in the district's revival when they co-produced the dramatic television anthology series TriBeCa in 1993 and co-founded the annual Tribeca Film Festival in 2002. De Niro also claimed ownership of all domain names incorporating the text "Tribeca" for domain names with any content related to film festivals. In particular, he had a dispute with the owner of the website[21][22]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Tribeca - New York City Neighborhood - NYC". New York. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tour (TOAST)
  3. ^ Responding to the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks: Lessons from Relief and Recovery in NYC
  4. ^ Most Expensive ZIP Codes 2006, Forbes, accessed November 6, 2006
  5. ^ 10013 Zip Code (New York, New York)
  6. ^ Manley, Charles. "The Safest and Most Dangerous Areas of New York City" on the Yahoo! Voices website
  7. ^ Gray, Christopher (June 25, 2000). "Streetscapes/105 Hudson Street; A TriBeCa Taste of the Young Carrere & Hastings". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Fiterman Hall is now open!". Borough of Manhattan Community College. Retrieved February 16, 2013. 
  14. ^ Shapiro, Julie. Artist's 9/11 Sculpture Rises in TriBeCa
  15. ^ Does Daniel Craig's Fabulous New Penthouse Make Him Gay? Retrieved May 27, 2010
  16. ^ acre-malibu-property/517/celebrities U2's Edge Settles into $4.3 Million Tribeca Penthouse Retrieved June 17, 2007
  17. ^ Freydkin, Donna (April 27, 2007). "Stars toast Tribeca artists at Chanel fete". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2007. 
  18. ^ Weiss, Murray; Italiano, Laura; Mangan, Dan (October 3, 2009). "Sex-diary find set off 'extort'". New York Post. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  19. ^ Schoeneman, Deborah (May 21, 2005). "The Return of Canastel's". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 19, 2007. 
  20. ^ Clemence, Sara (May 13, 2005). "House Of Stewart". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2007-16-17. 
  21. ^ Davis, Erik (January 2, 2007). "Robert De Niro: Raging Bully?". 
  22. ^ "I am Tribeca, De Niro claims". New York Post. December 31, 2006. [dead link]
  23. ^ Wizards of Waverly Place Trivia Facts. ShareTV. Retrieved on 2013-07-19.

External links[edit]