Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Bell Laboratories Building Lamp
463 West Street is a 13 building complex located on the block between West Street, Washington Street, Bank Street, and Bethune Street. It was originally the home of Bell Telephone Laboratories between 1898 and 1966. For a time, it was the largest industrial research center in the United States. Many early technological inventions were developed here, including automatic telephone panel switches, the first experimental talking movies (1923), black and white and color TV, radar, the vacuum tube, the transistor, medical equipment, the development of the phonograph record and the first commercial broadcasts including the first broadcast of a baseball game and the New York Philharmonic with Toscanini conducting.
The site was also the home for part of the Manhattan Project during World War II.
After two years of renovations by Richard Meier, the building was reopened in 1970 as Westbeth Artists Community, a haven for low to middle income artists. In addition to affordable artist housing, the complex contains a theatre, an art gallery, and a synagogue. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.
This old lamp adorns the building facing West Street.