10 Greene - 1869, John B. Snook, architect
16 Greene - 1882‒1883, Samuel A. Warner architect
Fire escapes on cast iron facades
It is hard to appreciate the facades of these two cast iron buildings because their fronts are hidden by fire escapes.
Following the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire in New York in which 146 people died—mostly seamstresses trapped behind locked doors in a factory on the east side of Washington Square Park—a stricter fire code was enacted. The 1915 law required that factory buildings erected prior to October 1, 1913, add exterior fire escapes. Only buildings with two interior stairwells were exempt.
The loft spaces in SoHo serving as offices, warehouses, and factories were, of course, affected. Narrow buildings with only one interior stairwell, such as these on Greene Street, added the metal fire escapes to comply with the new law.
Directions: Walk south on Greene Street toward Canal Street. Walk east on Canal Street.