The Meatpacking District was an unlikely candidate for landmarks preservation protection, but neighborhood activists and preservationists saw the value in the once gritty industrial blocks. Due to its history as a market area, much of the neighborhood was low rise, making it vulnerable to demolition for higher rise construction. In 2003, the Gansevoort Market Historic District, which roughly fits the boundaries of the Meatpacking neighborhood, was created to protect the area’s unique character, including its metal awnings, Belgian block streets, and eclectic mix of humble and more elaborate industrial architecture dating from the 1840s to today.
The neighborhood has not been frozen in time however, as many architects have added sensitive new additions to landscape, including a twisting tower for Samsung by Morris Adjmi Architects, a firm that has done many projects in the District. Many historic rowhouses that were reduced in height for use as cold storage facilities are regaining height with additional floors. Preservation and change coexist in the Meatpacking District.
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.