Plywood, scaffolding, and an official death shroud have just gone up around 437 West 13th Street. Despite controversy and a landmarking battle, the longtime home of Atlas Meats and Interstate Foods is coming down.
I've taken a lot of photos of this building over the last few years--you might say too many photos. But when you know something's about to vanish, you can't help yourself.
I loved its crumbling beauty, its sidewalks slippery with animal fat, its meatpackers in bloodstained smocks.
undated, via GVSHP
Meatpacking stopped here in 2009, at the same time that the High Line opened and the Standard Hotel went up next door, casting its giant shadow on the plant's swinging slabs of beef and buckets of inedibles.
We knew it couldn't last. The powers that be would never permit it to survive--the blood! the fat! the smell! When Diane von Furstenberg moved in next door, she pumped perfume into the street from her flagship boutique, making passersby "dizzy."
After the plant shuttered, Meatpacking cats still lurked in the doorways and the brick walls were taken over by street artists and graffitists. Details magazine caught on and took the walls for their own "Details Guild" urban artvertising campaign. (The building also became a billboard for iced tea and Adult Swim.)
Walking by, there was always something new to see.
Now the old bricks will be demolished so a 175-foot glass tower can rise--and what's left for us to look at?
71 flickr shots
Meat on Hooks
Life in the Triangle