Nov 12, 2013
Jun 22, 2007
Jul 7, 2010
Nov 12, 2013

Starrett Lehigh Building

Starrett Lehigh Building

July 1936

Berenice Abbott

(American, 1898–1991)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 19.8 x 24.5 cm (7 13/16 x 9 5/8 in.); Paper: 20.2 x 25.5 cm (7 15/16 x 10 1/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2007.21



Raised in Springfield, Ohio, Abbott went to Paris to study art and took up photography when she became Man Ray’s studio assistant. She moved to New York in 1929. Shocked by the rapid changes in the urban landscape, she dedicated much of her life to documenting New York’s new buildings and its fast-disappearing historic ones. Abbott made this image while working for the Federal Art Project during the Great Depression. The upward, wide-angle view emphasizes the massiveness of the factory warehouse, which still occupies a full block in the Chelsea neighborhood. Opened in 1931, the building was notable for applying modernist architectural principles to industrial architecture.

See also
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.