Have you ever found yourself walking in the Lower East Side at night thinking 'Geez, I hope this neighborhood looks exactly like this forever?" Well, it seems that you aren't the only one.
Thanks to the efforts of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum at least some of it might never change a bit. The museum, despite vocal opposition among many property owners in the area, has asked Community Board 3 for assisstance in getting a 20 block area from E. Houston to Division Streets between Essex and Allen Streets, with a small outcropping at the southern end extending over to Eldridge Street designated as the Lower East Side Historic District.
The big problem with historic districts, as many property owners seem to see it, is that they can hinder future development while simulatenously making it much more difficult to do even mundane building repairs like replace windows. And we're tempted to agree. Considering how much the LES has already been transformed in the past decade (THoR or Blue, anyone?) we think the area would be better served by careful zoning and a watchful community board. Whatever happens though, we can assure you that it won't happen for some time.
And in the meantime, you can find the city's Historic District Maps here. Last year Gothamist talked to the executive director of Landmark West, which tries to preserve the architecture of the UWS and we looked at the Meatpacking District in 2003 when it's historic district status was still fresh.
Map from Downtown Express.