The Tunnel, 220 Twelfth Avenue: Now Foxy Productions, Wallspace, Derek Eller, Moving Image, etc.
This massive former warehouse, whose long central space used to have trains running through it delivering goods to and from the Hudson River piers, became the sprawling club The Tunnel
in 1987, which, after many legal troubles, closed in 2001. In its time it was legendary
: it featured an entire room, "The Kenny Scharf Lava Lounge," designed by Kenny Scharf; Vin Diesel was once a bouncer
there; and it was the setting of the opening sequence
. Since it closed (and its owner Peter Gatien and his wife were deported to Canada for tax evasion), it's been parceled off into many different businesses, including several galleries. It's also the venue for the new Armory Week video art fair The Moving Image
The Eagle's Nest and The Eagle's Open Kitchen, 142 Eleventh Avenue: Now Cueto Project and Honey Space
Opened in 1931, the Eagle's Open Kitchen was a longshoreman's pub for decades until 1970, when a new owner turned it into one of West Chelsea's most notorious leather bars, the Eagle's Nest
. It remained there, thriving, for 30 years (it was used as a location in Cruising
), until the building's landlord wouldn't renew the Eagle's lease, and it was forced to move up to 28th Street after one last party in the all-black space
on March 3rd, 2000. Since then it's been used for several site-specific art installations, including the semi-regular Honey Space
. The gallery around the corner Cueto Project
, which recently closed, had access to part of the former Eagle's Nest space, which visitors could walk into from a doorway off of its main gallery.
Bungalow 8, 515 West 27th Street: Now Paul Kasmin Gallery
With its beach-chic theme, replete with potted palms, sunny yellow walls and many skylights, Bungalow 8 was a fixture of the city's super-exclusive club scene from 2001 until it closed
in 2009. It remained vacant and untouched for about two years until last fall when, hearing that it was going onto the market, neighboring gallerist Paul Kasmin stepped in and bought it
. He quickly converted it into his gallery's third location, and it hosted its first exhibition (Ai Weiwei's "Zodiac Heads
") in November
. It's retained the distinctive skylights, but otherwise the former club has been given the full white cube gallery makeover.
The Roxy, 511 West 18th Street: Soon to be Hauser & Wirth
Since its final party on March 10th, 2007, this former garage turned roller disco and seminal queer club-cum-celebrity nightspot, the huge warehouse nestled between the High Line and Frank Gehry's luminescent IAC building, has sat vacant. But last week Hauser & Wirth announced
plans to turn it into its second New York City location, with an expected opening in the fall. Launched as a roller skating rink and disco in 1978, it eventually began hosting themed dance nights, and quickly became a hub for the city's gay community. There's a great documentary about its heydays here
Tonic, 107 Norfolk Street: Soon to be Lisa Cooley Fine Art
When it opened in 1998 Tonic's squat one-story building sat between two vacant lots. When the venue, with its emphasis on independent and experimental music, closed in 2007, it was sandwiched between two of the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood's strangest looking buildings. Earlier this month Lisa Cooley announced
plans to take over the space, which has been vacant since Tonic closed. The first exhibition at Lisa Cooley Fine Art
's new location is expected to open in March.