The new home of WNYC might not be much to look at on the outside compared to its old perch at the iconic Municipal Building, but it's what's on the inside that counts. Since June, the station has been in its own space for the first time since 1922, only taking about eleven years from when it became independent of city ownership. Still the two and a half floors of former printing plant at 160 Varick Street, just a few blocks from the entrance to the Holland Tunnel in sort of a nebulous confluence of SoHo and TriBeCa which developers want to call Hudson Square, is a welcome change.
This change is noticeable when you first enter the building, and some of those changes include: a proper green room for those waiting to go on air, bright colors on the walls, high ceilings, and little touches like conference rooms color coded to size, wellness rooms, kitchenettes, and a lunch room. To top it all off, the new space ardently pursuing a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Rating (once fully settled in) and soon a bicycle room, complete with showers. Next year, the Jerome L. Greene Performance Center, a street-level broadcast and performance space, will also open.
There is also a healthy respect for the past in the new space. The walls are dotted with photos, artworks, and artifacts from the station’s eight and a half decades on the air and finally the station’s archivist, Andy Lanset, has a proper workspace and a unified climate controlled storage area. Sadly, one bit of history, John Schaefer’s infamously messy desk, didn’t survive the move although they did find the original WPA blueprints of the station’s studios in his office.