Monday, December 20, 2010


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,[3]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.


boromax said...

Wow. What a great story to accompany a striking architectural portrait. I like the cloudless blue sky backdrop, and the angle of the picture - how it catches two sides of the building in the foreground with the ranks of windows marking an inverted V that draws the eye to the seemingly older building in behind and left. The "twin chimneys" are not identical, which is an interesting detail; and the window a/c units are like punctuation or buds - there is no strict pattern to their placement.

Great stuff.

Frank de Jol said...

Good idea to use the abandoned buildings.
Of course, it certainly is not too beautiful, but it has its charm and it's functional.
In Lodz, also has many factories has been closed in the nineties.
For many years, have become abandoned and decaying. But in recent years began to renew it.
Apartments, shopping centers and entertainment with interesting architectural solutions, is a result of restoration of this old factory buildings.

Anonymous said...

I love this, both story and photo.

Leslie D. said...

The real deal. Merry Christmas Ken!

Birdman said...

Neat angles here and a better reuse of a building.

Anonymous said...

love these industrial buildings

Michelle said...

Glad this was able to be repurposed.

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

My writer friend lives there and has been there for many years. Has many stories to relate

alex said...

so you mean to say that these lofts are actually inhabited by real artists? j/k. thanks for sharing both the image and the story behind it. we need more innovative developments like these in other cities.

Lynette said...

Soaring inspiration, both in the original purpose of the complex and its current use. Plus your fantastic photo really does it justice. I like your blog a whole lot, and this is one of my favorite posts because, thank goodness, this time something useful did not disappear!

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