Nolita, sometimes written as NoLIta, is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Nolita is bounded on the north by Houston Street, on the east by the Bowery, on the south roughly by Broome Street, and on the west roughly by Lafayette Street. It lies east of SoHo, south of NoHo, west of the Lower East Side, and north of Little Italy and Chinatown.
The neighborhood was long regarded as part of Little Italy. The area, however, lost its recognizable Italian character in recent decades because of the migration of Italian-Americans out of Manhattan to other boroughs and to the suburbs.
In the second half of the 1990s, the neighborhood saw an influx of young urban professionals and an explosion of expensive retail boutiques and trendy restaurants and bars. Having previously tried unsuccessfully to pitch the neighborhood as part of SoHo, real estate promoters and others came up with several different suggested names for this newly upscale neighborhood. The name that stuck was Nolita, an abbreviation for North of Little Italy. This name follows the pattern started by SoHo (South of Houston Street) and later followed by TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal Street) and others.
The neighborhood includes St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, at the corner of Mott and Prince Streets, which was originally constructed in 1803 and rebuilt in 1868 after a fire. (See St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York.) This building served as New York City's Roman Catholic cathedral until the new St. Patrick's Cathedral was opened on Fifth Avenue in Midtown in 1879. St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is now a parish church.
Another neighborhood landmark is the Puck Building, an ornate structure built in 1885 on the corner of Houston and Lafayette Streets, which originally housed the headquarters of the now-defunct Puck Magazine.