Houston Street


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Since 2006, Houston Street is served by the M21 bus from Avenue C to Washington Street. From Broadway to Sixth Avenue, Houston Street is also served by the M5 (southbound buses only). Houston Street subway stations that lie on Houston Street are Second Avenue (F train), Broadway – Lafayette Street (B D F M trains), and Houston Street (1 2 trains). Exit 5 on the FDR Drive is on Houston Street. and the street also connects directly with West Street.

Houston Street is a major east-west thoroughfare in downtown Manhattan, running crosstown across the full width of the island of Manhattan, from the FDR Drive and East River Park on the East River to Pier 40 and West Street on the Hudson River. Houston Street generally serves as the boundary between neighborhoods, with Alphabet City, the East Village, NoHo, Greenwich Village and the West Village lying to the north of the street, and the Lower East Side, most of The Bowery, Nolita and SoHo to the south.
The numeric street-naming grid in Manhattan, created as part of the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, begins immediately north of Houston Street with 1st Street at Avenue A, although the grid does not fully come into effect until 13th Street.
"Houston" is pronounced like the words "house" and "ton", and not like the city of Houston, Texas.

Houston Street begins at an interchange with the FDR Drive at East River Park. The road begins as a divided highway and intersects with Columbia Street and East 2nd Street. Avenue B and several local streets intersect the road. After the intersection with the Bowery, Houston Street becomes a regular two-way city street and continues west. Lafayette Street and Broadway intersect soon after. After the Broadway intersection, East Houston Street becomes West Houston Street.
West Houston, to Sixth Avenue, went through an extensive renovation process from 2006 to 2008. 6th Avenue intersects at a curve in the road in Greenwich Village. West of that point, the street narrows and becomes one way westbound. West Houston Street comes to an end at an intersection with West Street and Pier 40 on the Hudson River.

Houston Street is named for William Houstoun, who was a Delegate to the Continental Congress for the State of Georgia from 1784 through 1786 and to the United States Constitutional Convention in 1787. The street was christened by Nicholas Bayard III, whose daughter, Mary, was married to Houstoun in 1788. The couple met while Houstoun, a member of an ancient and aristocratic Scottish family, was serving in the Congress.
Bayard cut the street through a tract he owned in the vicinity of Canal Street in which he lived, and the city later extended it to include North Street, the northern border of New York's east side at the beginning of the 19th Century.
The current spelling of the name is a corruption: the street appears as Houstoun in the city's Common Council minutes for 1808 and the official map drawn in 1811 to establish the street grid that is still current. In those years, the Texas hero Sam Houston, for whom the street is sometimes incorrectly said to have been named, was an unknown teenager in Tennessee. Also mistaken is the explanation that the name derives from the Dutch words huis for house and tuin for Garden.
The narrow, westernmost stretch of the current Houston Street, from Sixth Avenue to the West Side Highway, was known as "Hammersley Street" (also spelled "Hamersly Street") until the middle 19th century and was inside Greenwich Village. It later came to be regarded as The Village's southern boundary.
In 1891, Nikola Tesla established his Houston Street laboratory. Much of Tesla's research was lost in a 1895 fire.
The street, originally narrow, was markedly widened from Sixth Avenue to Essex Street in the early 1930s during construction of the Independent (IND) Subway System. The Houston Street widening involved demolition of buildings on both sides of the street, resulting in numerous small, empty lots. Although some of these lots have been redeveloped, many of them are now used by vendors, and some have been turned into playgrounds and, more recently, community gardens.
Lower Manhattan's SoHo district takes its name from an acronym for "South Of Houston;" the street serves as SoHo's northern boundary. The narrower neighborhood north of Houston Street is NoHo.