1885 map showing 13th Avenue, via the New York Public Library
You may be scratching your head at the mention of the 13th Avenue in Manhattan, but it does exist–and it’s the shortest avenue in the whole city with a fascinating history behind it. The minuscule stretch covers prime Meatpacking District real estate, just west of 11th Avenue and between Little West 12th Street and Gansevoort Street. The single block across the West Side Highway is unmarked, but officially known as Gansevoort Peninsula. The avenue was created by the city in 1837, and in no way was intended to be so short. In fact, by the mid-1800s 13th Avenue encompassed nearly 15 blocks and was planned to stretch all the way up to 135th Street. But the block never left Chelsea and was mostly destroyed by the city at the turn of the century.
Read all about the life and death of the Avenue
Photo via Pier 55 Inc.
6sqft reported in March on the latest developments in the on-again-off-again status of the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park/performing arts center proposed for Pier 55 on the Hudson River; though construction began last November, opponents of the project, led by the City Club of New York, gained a victory in the form of a ruling by Judge Lorna G. Schofield that agreed with group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. The judge ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary. Now, the New York Times reports that the Corps of Engineers, with the project’s sponsor, the Hudson River Park Trust, has filed an appeal of the decision.
And what about that Diller-Durst feud
6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation shares archival images of the gritty Meatpacking District from the 1980s to early 2000s. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
“Few parts of New York City have transformed as dramatically in the last decade or so as the Meatpacking District. Changes in the area are physical as well as spiritual. What was once a deserted ghost town by day, nightlife, sex club, and prostitution hub by night, and bustling workaday center of the Meatpacking industry from early morning to noon is now a glitzy, glamorized center of shopping, dining, tourism, strolling, and arts consumption,” says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The organization recently released a collection of archival photos of the neighborhood’s post-industrial grit, “before the Whitney, before the High Line, before Apple and Diane von Furstenberg, even before Sex and the City discovered the neighborhood.” Ahead, 6sqft shares these images, from the 1980s to the mid-2000s, which document the major transformation that’s taken place in just the past decade.
See all the photos here
Image courtesy of Chelsea Market
Today it seems like there’s a new food hall popping up every day, but one of the first incarnations of this trend was at Chelsea Market, when Irwin Cohen and Vandenberg Architects transformed the former Nabisco factory in the 1990s into an office building, television production facility, and food-related retail hub. New York City history buffs likely know that this is where a certain famous cookie was invented, but there are plenty of other fun facts about the location that are much less well known. Therefore, 6sqft has rounded up the top 10 most intriguing secrets of Chelsea Market.
Find out everything here
If you thought the roller coaster that is Pier 55 was over since construction began in November, you may not want to step off the ride just yet. Just yesterday, a federal judge ruled in favor of the City Club of New York, who took legal action against the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park way back in the summer of 2015. As reported by the Times, Judge Lorna G. Schofield agreed with the group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. She ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary.
Get the whole legal saga
Renderings © Neoscape for Studio Gang Architects
Just yesterday, 6sqft shared the news that Jeanne Gang‘s first ground-up project in NYC–the Solar Carve Tower at 40 Tenth Avenue–had begun construction along the High Line. Now, the Post shares new renderings of the jewel-like, glassy structure, which is so named for its employment of the firm’s strategy that uses the sun’s angles to shape a building. Along with these views of its chiseled edges, connection to the park, terraces, and interior spaces, comes word that developers Aurora Capital and William Gottlieb Real Estate have tapped Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield to begin leasing the 139,000-square-foot, 12-story boutique office building in anticipation of its 2019 opening.
Lots more details and renderings ahead
For an architect who had yet to break into the NYC scene, Jeanne Gang is now moving full steam ahead. Her firm, Studio Gang, received LPC approvals back in October for their much-hyped, $340 million Museum of Natural History expansion, and now, CityRealty tells us that construction has begun on their razor-edged glass tower along the High Line. Dubbed “Solar Carve Tower” for the firm’s strategy that “uses the incident angles of the sun’s ray to form the gem-like shape,” the 12-story office building will be Gang’s first ground-up project when completed.
Find out more
Despite the fact that the 535 concrete piles that will support the planned undulating base of the Pier 55 offshore park have already been erected, the Hudson River Park Trust is now looking towards a flatter design. The Architect’s Newspaper obtained a copy of a permit modification request that the group submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers that reduces the park’s overall size slightly from 2.7 to 2.4 acres and replaces many of the hollow pentagonal pots that would have sat on top of the columns with “a flat structural base sandwiches between the piles and the landscaping.”
Find out the reason for the major change
When HFZ Capital Group chairman Ziel Feldman needed a bold design for what will be Chelsea‘s largest development in more than a decade, he knew the very-visible, block-long site wanted nothing short of an architectural icon to house the future 950,000-square-foot mix of parking, retail and office space, a 137-room Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spa and 240 condominium apartments. So it should come as no surprise that Bjarke Ingels’ BIG was chosen to design what would be the firm’s second Hudson River-front tower (after Via 57 West). Straddling the High Line and offering sunset river views, the two towers penned by the Danish wunderkind sit atop a four-floor base at 76 Eleventh Avenue, rising to 28 and 38 floors, respectively. CityRealty now brings us a collection of new views and a concept development slideshow of the $1.9 billion project recently published by BIG on their website.
See new images from the slideshow and some scintillating site prep
Pier 57 now showing some skin; Photo: CityRealty
Work is moving along at the waterfront development that is rehabilitating and revitalizing Pier 57, Manhattan’s new “SuperPier;” newly-installed, canted glass panels can be seen along the pier’s rows of exterior columns, CityRealty reports. The $350 million transformation of the former freight terminal, a joint venture by Young Woo & Associates and RXR will include 250,000 square feet of offices for Google, a 170,000-square-foot food market curated by Anthony Bourdain and provide an elevated two-acre park with a rooftop movie and performance amphitheater. The project’s design is being handled by Handel Architects and !Melk Landscape Architecture and Urban Design.
Check out new construction photos