The homes in the thumbnail represent the roughly four square blocks bounded by Varick, Vandam, Macdougal and King Streets, a district which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
George Washington lived on this land on July 4, 1776. There was a grand mansion in this area called Richmond Hill, built by a Brit who would become an enemy during the Revolutionary War. Washington kicked the Brit out and seized the mansion.
Later it would become the official residence of the Vice President of the United States. When Washington, D.C. was established as our nation's capitol, ownership of the mansion changed hands to Aaron Burr and then to John Jacob Astor. Richmond Hill was used as a theater, an opera house and a saloon before eventually being demolished.
Eventually Astor subdivided the land and it was developed and redeveloped and re-redeveloped into what it is today.