In 1803, what would become Spring Street was the only street through the area, which was still rural, hilly and wooded. In May 1805, the street was ordered widened to 65 feet by the Common Council of the City of New York.
In 1834, anti-black race rioters, primarily Irish immigrants, broke into the Spring Street Presbyterian Church, the home church of abolitionistDr. Henry G. Ludlow. It was at the time located at 250 Spring Street between Varick Street and Sixth Avenue, where it had been established in 1811. The rioters caused extensive damage to the church's organ, pews and galleries. Two years after the riot, in 1836, a Gothic Revival structure was completed, replacing the old church. It stood on the site until the 1960s. In the early 20th century, the church served an impoverished community in which, according to the pastor, "Much of the neighborhood was lost in a kind of sodden apathy to which drunken quarrels brought release."
The corner of Spring Street and Broadway was the location of the St. Nicholas Hotel, a six-story, marble-faced, 600-room luxury establishment that was designed by either J. B. Snook or Griffith Thomas, and was completed in 1853. It was equipped with the newest technological conveniences, such as central heating, hot running water, and a telegraph office in the lobby. The interior of the hotel featured frescoes on the ceiling, gas lightchandeliers and walnut wainscotting. The opulence of the hotel was such that one visitor described a stay there as: "like an introduction to the palace of some Eastern prince." The building took up the full block between Spring and Broome Streets; only two small segments survive.
11 Spring Street, a former stable and carriage house built in 1888, was once a noted magnet for graffiti artists, who covered the exterior of the building with their artwork. When the building was purchased for conversion into condominiums, the developers, in collaboration with the Wooster Collective, mounted a show inside the building, inviting well-known graffitists – many of whom had work on the outside – to cover the entire five floors of the building's interior. The show opened in December 2006 for a few days, before work on the conversion began and the artwork was covered over or destroyed. Prior to its days as a canvas for graffiti, the stable had been the home of IBM employee John Simpson for 30 years. Simpson had filled it with Rube Goldberg-like mechanisms, and put burnt candles, surplus from the 1964 New York World's Fair, in the windows, giving the building its nickname at the time, the "Candle Building".
Lombardi's Pizza, 32 Spring Street, the first pizzeria in the United States. Zagats gave it a food rating of 25 in 2013. Originally located at 531⁄2 Spring Street in 1897, Gennaro Lombardi converted his grocery store into a pizzeria in 1905, and had a loyal clientele, including Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. Gennaro later passed the restaurant to his son George. It was closed in 1984, and re-opened a few years later down the block, run by one of Gennaro's grandsons.
Taïm, 45 Spring Street, Israeli vegetarian restaurant. Zagats gave it a food rating of 26 in 2013, and ranked it the # 1 Israeli restaurant in New York City, and the # 2 restaurant in NoLita.
The East River Savings Bank Building (now known as "The Spring"), 60 Spring Street, was built in 1927 and was designed by notable architect Cass Gilbert in the Beaux-Arts style. It was converted into a condominium apartment building in 2003.
Balthazar, 80 Spring Street, French brasserie restaurant. Zagats gave it a food rating of 24 in 2013, and ranked it the # 2 brasserie in New York City.
175 Spring Street, a lumber company, originally built as an electrical substation for the Sixth Avenue Elevated train line, run by the Metropolitan Railway Company. The building was constructed c. 1885, and features a granite Romanesque Revival arch.
The Urban Glass House, 330 Spring Street (between Washington and Greenwich Streets), a 12-story luxury condominium designed by noted architect Philip Johnson in the Modernist style; the interiors are by Annabelle Selldorf, another noted architect. The building was the last designed by Johnson before his death. The building utilized air rights from the James Brown House (see below), and in return the developers paid for significant repairs and improvements to that landmark. The building was constructed from 2005–2006.