The Meatpacking District’s connection to the food extends back to the 1880s, when New York City upgraded its public markets and relocated them to the neighborhood. The first was the open-air Gansevoort Farmer’s Market, located between Washington and West Streets, which featured fresh produce grown in the region, followed by the West Washington Market, which sold wholesale meat, poultry and dairy across West Street. The ten two-story buildings of the West Washington Market featured broad metal canopies that extended over the sidewalk, protecting goods and shoppers from the sun and rain and allowing vendors to present their goods to passersby.
The Farmer’s Market and the West Washington Street Market began to decline and were ultimately demolished in the 1950s as refrigeration, trucking, and the emergence of supermarkets changed distribution and shopping patterns. As meatpacking was consolidated in the neighborhood, the Gansevoort Market Meat Center was built on the site of the former Farmer’s Market. The Gansevoort Market Meat Center is still in operation today.
Gansevoort Market Historic District: State and National Register of Historic Places Registration Form (2007).
Gansevoort Market Historic District: Designation Report. New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (2003).
The High Line website
Off the Grid. Village Preservation blog.