The club was founded by brothers Eric Goode and Christopher Goode, Shawn Hausman and Darius Azari. The brick building housing Area was originally built in 1866 to house the stables of the American Express Company.
The club was open from Wednesday to Saturday, 11 pm till 4 am.
Area attracted many celebrities. Writing for Details was Stephen Saben and Michael Musto, writing for The Village Voice magazine, these tabloids chronicled the doings there, and looked back on the phenomenon in Musto's book, Downtown.
There are several mentions of Area in Andy Warhol's diaries. Ben Buchanan was the official photographer for the club and was there most nights documenting the scene. These photos were in Details every month and often in the New York Post and Daily News.
Of the "three hot clubs" in lower Manhattan in the 1980s—Area, Limelight, and Danceteria - Area "[died] a natural death", Limelight survived with a less artistic clientele, and Danceteria "[gave] way to expensive office space". 
- O'Brien, Glenn: "Culture Club", T: The New York Times Style Magazine, August 27, 2006.
- Kornbluth, Jesse: "Inside Area: The Wizardry of New York's Hottest Club", New York Magazine, pp. 32-41, March 11, 1985.
- Lewine, Edward (May 25, 1997). "Is Downtown Dead?". The New York Times.
- “The Club Beat” New York Magazine, July 2–9, 1984, pp. 70-76.
- Musto, Michael (1986). Downtown. Knopf. ISBN 978-0394742854.
- Warhol, Andy; Hackett, Pat (ed.), The Andy Warhol Diaries. New York: Warner Books, 1989: 633.
- Socolov, Emily (1985). Area: The Human Form in Tableaux (MA Thesis). New York: New York University.
- Miller, Daniel (2001). Consumption: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences. Taylor & Francis. p. 447. ISBN 978-0-415-24269-1. ISBN 9780415242691.
- McFarlane, Skye H. (October 13, 2006). "Building lofts where clubbers and horses once roamed". New York: Downtown Express.
- Steve Lewis, Five Easy Pieces: The Best Nightclubs in the History of New York City, BlackBook, August 26, 2009.