“Westbeth” began in 1967 when Westbeth Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, purchased the former site of Bell Laboratories on the waterfront in New York’s Greenwich Village. The Westbeth plan, a novelty at the time, was to convert the empty labs and offices into work-live spaces to be rented at affordable rates to artists from all disciplines. The historic timeline below takes you from our beginnings in 1860 though the current renovation project.
For more complete history, following are a number of citations and reports. In 1969, 463 West Street was named to the National Register of Historic Places. You can see the nomination report here. In 2009, the New York State Historic Preservation Office voted to nominate the entire Westbeth site to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Here's the report by Professor Andrew Dolkart of Columbia University. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation also conducted an extensive oral history project in connection with the designation. Their interviews with many of the surviving founders can be seen and heard at GVSHP's website. On Oct. 25, 2011, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to make Westbeth an individual New York City landmark. The commission's designation report can be seen here.