An Architectural Walking Tour of West Chelsea and Downtown Manhattan

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LAST Thursday, April 27th, Adler Windows co-hosted an AIA Architectural Walking tour with Marvin Windows and Doors. Attended by Architects and Contractors, fifteen of us in set out to see the stunning architectural history that is hidden right underneath our noses in West Chelsea and Downtown Manhattan. The tour included various important examples of contemporary architecture, major development sites, and successful examples of adaptive reuse.

Hudson Yards Rising

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We kicked off our tour with breakfast and networking in the Adler Windows Showroom on 7th Avenue. Once everyone had made acquaintances and consumed their coffee and bagels in true NYC fashion, we ventured off to our first stop of the day; Hudson Yards development. Our Tour Guide, Matt Postal, an architectural historian, brought us through 10 Hudson Yards (Kohn Pederson & Fox, 2013-) and The Shed (Diller, Scofido & Renfro, 2015-).

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Fun Fact #1: Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and the largest development in New York City since the Rockefeller Center. The site will include more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, more than 100 shops and a collection of restaurants curated by Chef Thomas Keller.

Fun Fact #2: The Shed will be housed in a 200,000-square-foot, six-level structure. The radically flexible design of the performative structure can physically and operationally accommodate the broadest range of performance, visual art, music, and multi-disciplinary work.   

The High Line and West Chelsea 

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Our tour of the High Line and West Chelsea featured numerous notable projects such as 520 West 28th Street (Zaha Hadid, 2015-), High Line 23 (Denari, 2011), 100 11th Avenue (Jean Nouvel, 2010), Metal Shutter Houses (Shigeru Ban, 2010), IAC Headquarters (Gehry, 2007) and last but certainly not least, the David Zwirner Gallery (Annabelle Seldorf, 2013, interior).

We made a quick stop off at Pier 57, the location of Anthony Bourdain’s “Bourdain Market” – a 100,000 square foot international food market that will feature a farmers market, an oyster bar, a rooftop beer garden, a tapas bar, and a bakery, as well as an international array of Singaporean hawker-style food stalls.

 

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We commenced the first leg of our tour by visiting Chelsea Market (Vandberg Architects, 1990s, interior) and the Whitney Museum (Renzo Piano, 2016), both situated in the heart of the Meatpacking District.  Then it was back on the bus to Tribeca for our second half of the tour.

Fun Fact #3: Most buildings within the Gansevoort Market area used to be four stories high. The top two floors were demolished in the 1900’s to reduce cooling costs within the meat, poultry and dairy houses. The topic of restoring all of the original buildings to four stories was recently proposed to the LPC.

 

Tribeca

Our tour took a quick stop in Tribeca to visit the stunning landmarked lobby of 60 Hudson Street, formerly known as the Western Union Building.  Built in 1930 and designed by Ralph Walker of the firm of Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker, the building was used as the headquarters of the Western Union Company, a purpose it served until 1973. Matt also talked us through the history of 33 Thomas Street, designed by John Carl Warnecke, 33 Thomas was built to withstand the fallout from a nuclear blast for up to two weeks — making it one of the most impregnable structures in the United States.

Fun Fact #4:  33 Thomas Street is the only building in New York that was built without any windows.

 

Battery Park City and World Trade Center

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After a delicious lunch in the Landmarc restaurant, we headed downtown to Battery Park City and Financial District, stopping off at; Teardrop Park (Michael Van Valkenburgh), The Winter Garden, Brookfield Place (Rafael Pelli, pavilion 2013), NY Public Library (1100 Architect, 2010, LEED Gold, interior),  The Occulus (Santiago Calatrava, 2016, interior),  World Trade Center Memorial and Museum (Michael Arad and Snohetta, 2011/2014), Fulton Street Transit Hub (Nicholas Grimshaw, 2014) and 8 Spruce Street (Frank Gehry, 2010).

Fun Fact #5: Until 2014, Brookfield Place was known as the World Financial Center. The luxury shopping center and office building complex has been home to offices of various companies including Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, Nomura Group, American Express and Brookfield Asset Management, among others.
After a full day of exploring this wonderful city, our tour commenced at The Beekman Hotel. We would like to thank our vendor, Marvin Windows and Doors for co-hosting and our amazing Tour Guide Matt Postal for a thoroughly insightful and enjoyable day. For more information about Adler Windows Events please email siona@adlerwindows.com.