In 1843 a row of fine three-story, brick-faced homes was completed on the north side of Seventh Street between Avenues C and D. Although generally Greek Revival in style, they showed the influence of the rising Italianate style. The top stories, for instance, normally decidedly shorter than the others in Greek Revival design, were full height. The residences sat just over a block from the East River in the neighborhood known as the Dry Dock District, where ships were built. Not surprisingly, many of the initial residents of the block were involved in the industry.
If you walk around you see an incredible number of gutted buildings and squatters. The area between Avenue B and Avenue D is a no-man's island. The reality quotient is high. You just don't spring out of doors in the morning and say it's beautiful.