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Chronicles: Bell Laboratories Building

westbeth_original1At one time, the group of 13 buildings at 463 West Street in New York City was the largest industrial research center in the United States. Built in 1898 by Bell Laboratories, many pinnacle inventions were first tested here including talking movies in 1923, TV, the phonograph record and the first commercial broadcasts. The complex was also the home of the Manhattan Project, which during World War II worked to develop the first atomic bomb.
The labs closed in 1966 but reopened in 1970 after two years by Richard Meier as the Westbeth Artists Community. The community provides housing to low and middle income artists as well as a theater, an art gallery and a synagogue.

After two years of renovations by architect Richard Meier, the building was reopened in 1970 as Westbeth Artists Community, a haven for low to middle income artists, dancers, musicians, actors, writers and film makers. In addition to affordable artist housing, the complex contains a theatre, an art gallery, and a synagogue and has been declared a National Historic Landmark. It is also here that photographer Diane Arbus committed suicide on July 28, 1971.
Bell Labs/Westbeth Artist Community
463 West St, New York, NY 10

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