Designated October 25, 2011
445-465 West Street, 137-169 Bank Street, 51-77 Bethune Street, and 734-754 Washington Street, Manhattan. Built c. 1860; 1896-1903, Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz, architect, Marc Eidlitz & Son, builder; 1924-26, McKenzie, Voorhees & Gmelin, architect, Tidewater Building Co., builder; 1929, Warren B. Sanford, engineer, Turner Construction Co., builder; 1931-34 alterations, Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker, architect; and 1968-70 conversion, Richard Meier, architect.
The Bell Telephone Laboratories Complex, occupying an entire city block in Manhattan’s Far West Village, is highly significant as the site of one of the world’s most prestigious telecommunications research organizations, where research work that resulted in many significant innovations and inventions was conducted, and later, as the first and largest publicly- and privately-funded artists’ housing project in the United States, as well as a pioneering large-scale industrial
The Western Electric Co. built an office and factory building for telephone-related equipment (1896-1903) at 455-465 West Street, 149 Bank Street, and 734-742
Washington Street. After 1913, the building ceased as a manufacturing plant and was largely the headquarters of Western Electric’s Engineering Department. In 1925, it became Bell Telephone Laboratories for research and development for both the American Telegraph & Telephone Co. and Western Electric Co. After Bell Labs vacated the property in 1966, Roger L. Stevens, first chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, conceived of the complex as a pilot project of subsidized, affordable studio living quarters for artists, which was substantially supported and inaugurated by the J.M. Kaplan Fund. It was converted in 1968-70 into Westbeth Artists’ Housing, the first major work by architect Richard Meier, with 383 residential and work studio units, as well as gallery, performance, and commercial spaces, and a park.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
Greenwich Village became a village after the American Revolution. The 1807-11 gridiron street plan bypassed the Village and the area kept its low scale nature. The district is known for its collection of early New York row houses in a variety of styles including Federal,...Explore the Neighborhood >
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society