Westbeth Artist Housing, a 13-building complex in the West Village, provides dynamic living and working spaces for nearly 400 multi-discipline artists. When Westbeth opened in 1970, it was the first and largest federally subsidized artist’s complex in the United States and is an example of successful adaptive reuse in New York City, a formerly industrial site transformed into affordable residences for New Yorkers.
Photograph by Roger Braimon
Originally built as a compound for Bell Telephone Laboratories, Westbeth was, for a time, the largest industrial research center in the United States. Between 1898 and 1966 numerous noteworthy inventions were made at Bell Laboratories, including the first transistor, first experimental talking movies, first binary computer, first television broadcast, black and white and color TV, video telephones, radar, the vacuum tube, and more.
On Sunday, February 23rd at 2 PM, Untapped New York Insiders will be treated to a free behind-the-scenes tour led by a Westbeth artist in residence, Gayle Kirschenbaum whose solo photo exhibition STILL MOMENTS is currently in the First Floor Gallery. Kirschenbaum will be taking us to see the lobby, the rooftop, her artist residence, and an available apartment with stunning views of the Hudson River that was formerly the executive suite of Bell Labs. You’ll see some incredible architectural spots that only the melding of industry and residential can produce, like how the High Line runs through Westbeth.
Photo from STILL MOMENTS by Gayle Kirschenbaum
The tour will conclude with a visit to STILL MOMENTS with Kirschenbaum, who is an Emmy award winning Netflix filmmaker and TEDx speaker. “Give me a plane, train or bus ticket, or a set of wheels and I promise I will come back with photos and stories that will warm your heart.”