Marvel at the world’s greatest trove of cast-iron buildings in this guided tour through the streets of SoHo. Cast iron began as a mid-nineteenth century cheap imitation of stone, in which the glories of the world’s past could be offered to American merchants through that most modern of marketing tools, the sales catalog — in mass-produced, ready-to-build versions. But cast iron soon developed into a remarkable technology expressive of the industrial revolution and modern America, capable of entirely new architectural effects. Tour highlights include cast iron recreations of Venetian palaces on Broadway, French style Mansard roofs on Greene Street, and the audaciously original metallic creations of New York’s Victorian commercial architects. The tour also incorporates SoHo’s more recent history, including the impact of the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, designation as a New York City Historic District, the changing economics of light industry, and the fashions of the art world.