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Salt Shed-Dattner Architects-Spring Street-NYC-Hudson River-Canal Street-West Street-SnowstormThe Spring Street Salt Shed will be completed in 2014

Who knew salt sheds could be architecture porn? Next year, the $10 million salt shed on Spring Street and West Street will be completed, designed by Dattner Architects on a commission from the City of New York and the Sanitation Department. The pointy, “crystalline” building will be 70 feet tall and able to store 4,000 tons of salt. According to the firm’s website, “The structure tapers toward the bottom, creating more pedestrian space, and rises from a glazed moat that will be illuminated at night.”

Lest the other 44 other salt sheds in New York City feel left out, other people have found photographic inspiration in these seemingly mundane municipal structures. At Untapped Cities, we’ve been on the lookout for them since 2009 when we ended up poking (trespassing) around inside one in Sunset Park.

Flicker user -ytf- has even made a stereoscopic 3D image of the Sunset Park salt shed. Click on the image below and the photographer says to sit 2 to 3 feet away and “gently cross your eyes”. Or view the full res version here.

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Flickr user roccocelli has produced a perfectly balanced image of the salt shed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard:

Salt Shed-Brooklyn Navy Yard-NYC

Here’s the salt shed below the Manhattan Bridge on Peck Slip, notable mostly for location:

Salt Shed-Manhattan Bridge-Peck Slip-FDR Drive

Meanwhile, there have even been lawsuits about salt piles like this one in East Harlem. This more permanent circular structure was built in 2010 at 125th Street:

125th Street Salt Shed-East River-Harlem-NYC

Given that the total capacity of NYC’s salt sheds can store 235,000 tons of rock salt and 330,700 gallons of calcium chloride deicing solution, we think these structures deserve more than a passing glance. Plus, if you can get inside one, it’s pretty awe-inspiring.

Get in touch with the author @untappedmich. Read more from our Cities 101 series about how stuff works in the city. 

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