ABOUT THIS BOOK
Since its initial publication, Loft Living
has become the classic analysis of the emergence of artists as a force of gentrification and the related rise of “creative city” policies around the world. This 25th anniversary edition, with a new introduction, illustrates how loft living has spread around the world and that artists’ districts—trailing the success of SoHo in New York—have become a global tourist attraction. Sharon Zukin reveals the economic shifts and cultural transformations that brought widespread attention to artists as lifestyle models and agents of urban change, and explains their role in attracting investors and developers to the derelict loft districts where they made their home.
Prescient and dramatic, Loft Living shows how a declining downtown Manhattan became a popular “scene,” how loft apartments became hot commodities for the middle class, and how investors, corporations, and rich elites profited from deindustrializing the city’s factory districts and turning them into trendy venues for art galleries, artisanal restaurants, and bars. However, this edition points out that the artists who led the trend are now priced out of the loft market. Even in New York, where the loft living market was born, artists have no legal claim on loft districts, nor do they get any preferential treatment in the harsh real estate market.
From the story of SoHo in Lower Manhattan to SoWa in Boston and SoMa in San Francisco, Zukin explains how once-edgy districts are transformed into high-price neighborhoods, and how no city can restrain the juggernaut of rising property values.