New View, Historical Residence: Westbeth Artist Housing in Greenwich Village 

My favorite weekend of the year: Open House New York. It’s a chance go on architecture tours and visit places you normally wouldn’t hear about or have access to the rest of the year. I was volunteering as District Coordinator for sites in Bushwick, Ridgewood and Greenpoint so I was mostly checking in on tours but explored new places in the Upper West Side and Greenwich Village.

My highlights this year were the Westbeth Artist Housing, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (UWS) and Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park.

At Westbeth Artist Housing on Bethune Street in Greenwich Village

When I walked into the lobby and then out into the narrow yet expansive courtyard, I looked up and couldn’t believe that this place had been in Greenwich Village all this time and I’d never seen or heard of it before. Designed by architect Richard Meier, and converted from the previous Bell Laboratories into affordable artist housing in 1970, the setting looks like an old army terminal. Here in the courtyard, you’re surrounded by artist residences, theatrical spaces and galleries – all opening up towards the sky.

westbethartist2

Look up #ohnywknd on Instagram – there are more pictures of this amazing architecture!

Fun fact: The tour guide shared with us that Vin Diesel grew up here and Diane Arbus lived here as well.

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