GVSHP has long made a priority of documenting and preserving the history of the Greenwich Village waterfront. Westbeth, the full-block former Bell Telephone Labs which were converted to housing for artists in the late 1960s to the designs of Richard Meier, are an enormous part of that history. Westbeth presaged tremendous changes not only in the West Village but in post-industrial cities throughout the world.
With a grant from the JM Kaplan Fund and working with the Westbeth Board and residents, GVSHP has spent the last three years thoroughly documenting the story of how this once-abandoned complex along the Hudson River became a first-of-its kind large-scale adaptive re-use of an industrial building for residential purposes, and the first subsidized housing for artists in the United States. Since it opened in 1970, Westbeth has had a tremendous impact — it has housed and nurtured countless influential artists, it helped turn a once grim and partially abandoned formerly industrial area into a flourishing residential community, and it helped pave the way for the widespread adaptive re-use of lofts as live-work spaces for artists.
In nominating the entire Westbeth complex for the State and National Register of Historic Places, GVSHP seeks to have that unique history recognized, and allow Westbeth to access grants and loans which might not otherwise be available for the preservation of this unique complex. Read the nomination HERE.
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