New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, October 01, 2010

Going Through Rehab

One of the most disappointing features of a post-war "modern" apartment is that in most cases, when you enter, you are typically dumped right into a living room with an an immediate sense of the lay of the land. Cookie cutter and boxy, no foyers, no "frivolous" use of space. There are no surprises around the corner, because there are not many corners or ways to meander.
If you like a labyrinthine experience in a Gothic environment, you may enjoy the Limelight, previously a church built in 1846 and after 1973, used as a rehab center, various night clubs - most notably The Limelight - and now a shopping emporium.

A nightclub in a Gothic church should be a dramatic, exciting experience. But it was not. I neglected to mention that some had nicknamed the club "Slimelight." I visited once in the 1980s, and the novelty of crawling through the maze of chambers in low light wore off quickly. Slimelight it was. I wrote about the sorry state of the Limelight on May 30, 2008 in Model for Decorum.

Its various reincarnations were not much better. On March 14, 2009, I visited again and found a large flea market of sorts - very disappointing. The photos I took remained unused. You can see an interior photo here.
After a $15 million dollar renovation, the building reopened in May 2010 as the Limelight Marketplace, a assemblage of over 60 upscale shops, eateries and outdoor cafe. See my photo gallery here.

Although some critics are not particularly enamored with this incarnation, and I do not champion the view that commerce heals all wounds, it certainly is refreshing to see the cleanup after going through rehab...


Leslie said...

It's a lovely church, but is anything worthwhile or special being sold in there? I wonder if this idea is succeeding, or if people have a basic belief that altering a church is sacrilegious?

Anonymous said...

I just want to say: great blog!

Brian Dubé said...

Leslie - Good point and of course depends on your definition of "worthwhile." As far as the church being used in this way, it has not been used as a church for nearly 40 years and in NYC, most shoppers probably don't care.

Anon - thanks.

le8al said...

Great, amazing, I like your blog is lovely, wonderful pictures!!

Shashwat Nagpal said...

Interesting. I like the way you wrie and present your photos... very impressive blog! congratulations!

Elisa said...

It´s amazing.
I´d like to visit it:)
Elisa, Argentina