History of Hudson Square

Formerly the Printing District, Hudson Square has always been the place for those on the creating edge of innovation and communication. Once home to whirring presses and printer’s magic, Hudson Square today hosts digital wizards, catering connoisseurs, brilliant broadcasters, talented trendsetters, serious scientists and global brand beacons. The legacy of our past remains in Hudson Square’s architecture and continued creating ethos.

1920’s

Printing Press

(Image courtesy Pulpflakes 2014)

At the height of the Printing Industry, Hudson Square is reported to have housed 60% of print shops in Manhattan below 59th street. Printers began moving to Hudson and Varick Streets en masse in the 1920s to escape congestion in lower Manhattan and to be closer to the Holland Tunnel, then still under construction. At the time, nearly a quarter of all the commercial printing in the country was done in New York City. Hudson Square was a natural destination for the Printing industry, then the creating edge of communication. In 1927, the Holland Tunnel opens for business. At that time, it was the longest underwater tunnel in the world and many commentators ranked the newly-opened tunnel as the eighth wonder of the world.

1950’s-1980’s

375 Hudson StreetAs the printing business begins to leave Manhattan, Hudson Square starts to shift from its printing roots. Creative Ad agencies move in and take the printers’ place. In 1987 the ad giant Saatchi + Saatchi moves into 375 Hudson, marking a new wave of creating edge companies in Hudson Square.

2007 – Present

Hudson Square Today
New York Public Radio, New York Magazine, Viacom, and Edelman all take office space in Hudson Square. Some find that Hudson Square offers relief from higher-priced space in Midtown, while others flock to the neighborhood’s loft like architecture and sun lit spaces. In 2009, the Hudson Square Business Improvement District is formed. The BID’s mission was to transform the former industrial neighborhood into a place for people. $27MM Master Plan, Hudson Square is Now, was created to improve traffic flow, create open spaces, and bring green to the streets. Hudson Square today has a daytime population of over 60,000 people and continues to be a magnet for creating edge companies, such as Warby Parker, Digital Ocean, Horizon Media, Oscar Health and ABC Disney.