Bond Street & 64th Street, Southwest Corner

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Signs of change on Tenth Avenue: 24th Street — 34th Street (2006)

Continuing up Tenth Avenue … (once again, open a second window in your browser, and go to Tenth Avenue 13th — 110th to follow along, or else toggle back and forth between the blog and the photos using your browser's forward and back buttons).

As before, I’ll take the corners of each intersection in the clockwise order NE, SE, SW, NW. And for this post, too, I'll list every corner and what I found.

Tenth Avenue & 24th Street, Southwest Corner


24th Street

NE — plywood construction wall over storefront

SE — scaffolding on 24th street (London Terrace renovation)

SW — new storefront at far left is "new neighborhood" style

NW — none (LukOil — Russian firm, deserves a mention)




25th Street

NE — none

SE — none

SW — none

NW — none




26th Street

NE — none

SE — none

SW — none (but what about the two tractors?)

NW — none




27th Street

NE — none

SE — none (or are the Village Voice and Gotham Writers Workshop boxes signs of change here?)

SW — Kasmin's gallery (though it was one of the real pioneers here, I think)

NW — none




28th Street

NE — none

SE — none

SW — none

NW — none




29th Street

NE — none

SE — none

SW — none

NW — scaffolding, netting = construction or substantial renovation




30th Street

NE — none

SE — none

SW — scaffolding, netting = construction or substantial renovation

NW — none




31st Street

NE — none

SE — storefront boarded up

SW, NW — no such corners exist (Tenth Avenue overpass of Penn Station railroad yards here)




32nd Street

no such corners exist (Tenth Avenue overpass of Penn Station railroad yards here)




33rd Street

NE — none

SE — none

SW — none

NW — none




34th Street

NE — vacant lot with construction equipment visible behind slatted chain link fence

SE — sign: "under new management"

SW — none (the McDonald's has been there for a long time)

NW — none




SUMMARY

10 out of the 38 corners on Tenth Avenue from 13th Street to 23rd Street — 26% — show signs of change that are either obviously change in progress (5 corners, or 13%) or else evidence that would (I think) be apparent to anyone who knew the neighborhood of recent change (5 corners, or 13%); 28 of the corners (74%) showed no signs of recent change.

——————————

Well, not so much change manifest here as in the half mile to the south. But are appearances deceiving? Actually there was more change underway in the blocks west of Tenth Avenue, on over to Eleventh, in this stretch of Tenth than in the first half mile we looked at. But in this stretch, largely, I suppose, because of the big housing projects, both private (London Terrace) and public (Elliott Chelsea Houses), Chelsea Park (between 27th and 28th Streets), the 30th Street Post Service building, and then the Penn Station railroad yards (on the west side of Tenth between 30th and 33rd Streets) the changes don't quite reach to the Tenth Avenue corners.

Or, put a little differently, in this stretch, Tenth Avenue is a less permeable boundary street between the areas to either side of it. Below 23rd Street, the gentrification extends to the east as well as to the west of Tenth Avenue, whereas in this stretch it stops, mostly, just west of Tenth, so the appearance, and perhaps the pace of change is less intense here, and more of the character of the avenue as it was prior to the art galleries' move from SoHO to Chelsea remained intact — though now (2010) more change is visible than was the case four years ago when these photographs were taken.

Which brings up a corollary point, namely that the big avenues in Manhattan can serve as "spines" (or main arteries, to use a different biological metaphor) for a neighborhood in one stretch and switch so to speak to being boundaries between neighborhoods in the next stretch. — Do these roles change with time and the character of the neighborhoods involved? Do spines ever become boundaries and vice-versa? And under what circumstances? — well that really would be another story, but let's keep the thought on file.

— Once again, I'm proceeding tediously slowly here, at that outset, in order to force spending time with each of the photographs, even more time than (perhaps) the photographs warrant, out of an admittedly vague sense that "ideas" may result from this "contemplative immersion," especially here at the beginning of the process, that could get swamped by moving faster.

Though of course, I could just be getting stuck in a lot of obvious trivia, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment