Monday, July 2, 2012

Terminal Stores

The Terminal Stores building (261 11th Avenue) is one of my favorites in the city.  Taking up the entire block bounded by 11th and 12th Avenues, and 27th and 28th Streets, it's an enormous structure.

Terminal Stores Building

Originally built in 1890 by the New York Terminal Warehouse Company, the Central Stores (as it was called) was connected by tracks to the rail yard on W 30th Street.  Trains could transport goods directly from the yard into the warehouse.

According to the 2008 West Chelsea Historic District Designation Report -
The company also had operating agreements with the Erie and Lehigh Railroads, which had tracks leading out the Twelfth Avenue facade to transfer bridges along the Hudson River waterfront, from which car floats could transport whole freight cars to New Jersey and the westward-bound rail lines traversing the country’s interior. In addition to the Central Stores, the Terminal Warehouse Company owned the Rossiter Stores at West 59th Street and the West Shore Stores in Weehawken, New Jersey.

You can read a detailed history of the building beginning on page 87 of the report.

Terminal Stores Building

One thing that amazes me about this building is it's still being used for its original purpose, which was storage.  Despite several companies now existing within the building and parts of it being used for other things (there was once a nightclub on the eastern end), its primary use is still as a warehouse.

Another thing I love about this building is the design.  Nothing fancy, but the brick work and arched windows are beautiful.

Terminal Stores Building

On weekends, when the businesses are closed, the 27th Street side feels deceivingly desolate and abandoned.  Walking along this block, one feels dwarfed by the massive structure.

Terminal Stores Building

The Belgian block paving stones are wonderfully preserved.

Terminal Stores Building

It's hard to believe this is just a block away from luxury condos and the tourist mecca that is now the High Line.  On this block, one can forget about the modern age and still get a sense of the old city and the days of industry.


See more photos of the Terminal Stores building on my Flickr page.

9 comments:

  1. nice little trip through this building, thx.

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  2. Thanks - what a beautiful building, & how grim & heroic that name looks up there.

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  3. Love these photos! I need to take a walk over there!

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  4. Goggla...Outstanding!  Every now and then I snoop around the piers up there. Now I will have to notice the neighborhood more.    Bobby.

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  5. Thanks, Peter.  Now, I'd really like to see the interior.

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  6. 'Grim' is a good word to describe its presence.  It's a fortress of a building.

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  7. Thanks, Marty - do take a walk over there and the surrounding area before it's turned into more luxury condos!

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  8. Thanks, Bobby!  These pics don't do it justice.  I recommend visiting this area in the late afternoon when the shadows are long, but I'd like to get back over there after dark and try some night shots.

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  9. The nightclub was 'The Tunnel' owned by notorious nightlife emperor, Peter Gatien.  Truly one of the biggest and best of its era.  It was strange seeing the building in its current incarnation for me as I only knew it as the site of the club.  Heck, I never even thought about the rest of the building back then.  I have to admit that its a little surprising that the block still looks about the same as it did 20 years ago which is quite a feat in lower Manhattan.

    Thanks for this great view of the building.  

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