Bell Laboratories Building

The Bell Laboratories Building is actually a thirteen building campus in Manhattan. From 1898 to 1966 it housed the Bell Telephone Laboratories, which in the years after World War II became the largest facility dedicated to industrial research anywhere in the US.

Many of the twentieth century technological developments that have become commonplace in today's world are the product of Bell Labs. The first experiments in movies with sound were carried out here, and both black and white and color TV were created in these laboratories. The vacuum tube, radar, and the phonograph were tested in Bell labs, and some of the first commercial broadcasts were transmitted from the facility. More ominously, during World War II parts of the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb were carried out at Bell Labs. A new research facility was constructed in Holmdel, New Jersey in 1962, and the New York compound closed in 1966.

In 1970, the building was given new life as the Westbeth Artists Community, which provides affordable housing to creative and performing artists in hyper-expensive New York. The facility has its own gallery and performance space. There is also a synagogue on the premises. By 1975 the building had been added to the National Registry of historic places. Its penthouse now houses Ramscale, an event venue.


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