New Construction in Manhattan's Smallest Historic District

Written By Phil Ryan | August 15, 2011
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One of Manhattan’s smallest historic districts, Gansevoort Market in the Chelsea Neighborhood, is perhaps its trendiest. Lined with high-end designer shops, restaurants, and now the renowned High Line, the Meatpacking District, which roughly mirrors the Gansevoort Market Historic District, is hotter than the High Line’s steel rails during a heat wave. Part of this is due to its architectural charm, something that architect Morris Adjmi’s design for a new building above 837 Washington Street could potentially harm, at least according to residents.

A twisting, steel-and-glass construction rising above a vintage Meatpacking District façade, 837 Washington Street’s reconstruction would add a modern twist to this historic neighborhood. The Landmark Preservation Commission’s recent approval of Adjmi’s design, albeit substantially scaled down, signals the willingness of the LPC to accept that diverse architecture can actually be beneficial to a neighborhood, as long as it does not appear too out of place or unsightly, and perhaps that is the best way for new development to exist side-by-side with history.

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