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The Garment District's Bustling Past and Uncertain Future.

Recently I found myself tootling around the streets that constitute New York's storied Garment District, a six-block area between West 35th Street and West 41st Street, Broadway and Ninth Avenue. Actually, "tootling around" isn't quite the right expression. There are no street signs prohibit a leisurely stroll up one built-up block and down another, but there might as well be. Everyone and everything moves fast; promenading is simply not a possibility. Besides, at street level, there's not much to take in. Scaffolding blocks the eye at nearly every turn, and if that's not enough to discourage close scrutiny, the honky-tonk, tawdry streetscape does the rest.

The only way to appreciate the Garment District is to look up, craning your neck this way and that until it starts to hurt. It's at that point, when you see the building line meet the sky, that the neighborhood's distinctive architectureits dense cluster of skyscraper factories and concentrated use of setbackscomes fully into view.

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Author:Joselit, Jenna Weissman
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Jun 19, 2017
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