Anyone who has visited Manhattan’s Lower East Side over the past few years knows that it seems to be growing more and more densely packed with galleries every single day. There are now a grand total of 132 of them in the neighborhood, according to the Lower East Side Business Improvement District. That’s nearly double the already formidable 71 that were in the neighborhood five years ago. That averages out to a net gain of about one gallery every single month for the past five years. (A big thank you to the L.E.S. B.I.D. for kindly provided us their gallery maps for this feature.)
The Lower East Side sprouted as a gallery destination only a few years before the B.I.D. began publishing their maps in 2010. In 2008, Envoy Enterprises, an early entrant into the neighborhood that regularly published a guide, listed just 43 galleries in the neighborhood, and in 2007, when Creative Time put out a map of cultural offerings it listed just 13 galleries, among them beloved and now-closed venues like Orchard and Rivington Arms as well as some that are still with us, albeit in new locations, like Canada and Thierry Goldberg Projects.