Neighborhood Anchor: Starrett-Lehigh and the evolution of West Chelsea

Starrett-Lehigh Building

601 W 26th St
New York, NY
Image details

Discover the story of West Chelsea and one of its most iconic yet enigmatic structures, the 1931 Starrett-Lehigh Building, in this rare behind the scenes expedition.  

Heralded as a triumph of efficiency and daring structural innovation, its place in the history of modern architecture was secured by its inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s 1932 “International Style” exhibition. The building’s advanced vertical and horizontal circulation systems allowed all weather access by railroad, auto and truck…making this pioneering high rise factory as convenient as a single-story facility. “Every Floor a FIRST FLOOR!” proclaimed a rental brochure from the thirties.

Survey the decades long transformation of this early 20th Century industrial icon into its current role as an evolving center of post-industrial 21st Century innovation, while taking in the views of the surrounding West Chelsea neighborhood and considering its parallel development.

Starrett-Leigh’s original, innovative, designed flexibility allows every floor to be whatever a tenant imagines it to be today, and into the future. Explore the varied worlds of this 19-story, block long landmark and the neighborhood in which it resides on this unique tour led by architectural historian John Kriskiewicz and organized by Docomomo US (based out of Starrett-Lehigh since July 2019), in partnership with RXR Realty and the Centre for Social Innovation.

Sponsored by a Humanities New York Vision Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Tour Details

This tour will run twice on Friday, May 1, 2020*
Afternoon tour - building tenants only: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm 
Evening tour - general public: 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Tours are free for building tenants (must show building ID) and Docomomo members. 
$15 for general public

Meet at the 11th Avenue entrance of the Starrett Lehigh Building, 601 W 26th St, New York

Light refreshments will follow each tour, courtesy of the Centre for Social Innovation

*The original date of March 27 was postponed due to the Coronavirus. We continue to monitor the situation and will post any updates here.

Advance registration required