Westbeth is among the first examples of adaptive reuse of industrial buildings for artistic and residential use in the United States. It is a complex of 13 buildings in Manhattan's West Village. The complex was originally the site of Bell Laboratories (1868–1966), one of the world's most important industrial research centers and home to many inventions, including the vacuum tube, the condenser microphone, an early version of television,and the transistor. The complex was vacated in the middle 1960s, and remained empty until the Westbeth project started later in the decade. It created live-work spaces for 384 artists of all disciplines'; the project was the first public commission of Richard Meier, who later won the Pritzker Prize for architecture and is still a significant figure in modern architecture. Westbeth opened in 1970 for artists, dancers, musicians, actors, writers and film makers.