Loft living was born in New York in the 1950s. At that time the SoHo district was home to a growing number of abandoned 19th century iron framed factories and warehouses. These flatted multi-storey workspaces were known as lofts and many were earmarked for demolition.

Desperate landlords began renting floors to creatives hungry for studio and workspace. The vast areas and high ceilings were perfect for large paintings, sculptures, and performance pieces.

And because they couldn’t afford anywhere else to go, they slept in their studio lofts too, like generations of artists before them.

A couple of famous early downtown New York loft habitués included Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Warhol set up his seminal studio – The Factory – in one such loft building.

The edgy and vaguely unlawful nature of loft living added to the excitement that attracted more artists and their crowd. Part of the allure was living somewhere that was clearly industrial (loft buildings were not zoned for residential use), setting them aside from other New Yorkers.

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