Marking the southern-most boundary of Astor Place, 8th is a street that is full of history and character. Starting on 3rd Avenue with the Cooper Union Foundation Building, you can easily see why its such a revered piece of classic architecture. After being built in 1858, it became famous for hosting Lincoln's first speech in New York during his campaign.
There are plenty of other historic structures in the neighborhood here, and one of the great benefits of the open nature of the square is you can easily see many of them from one spot. Contrasted against these structures are the new, modern buildings that are popping up all over the place. Their avant-garde designs coupled with the classical stylings of the surrounding buildings create for a fascinating dichotomy.