Samsung 837, the building at 837 Washington Street at 13th Street, is among the most extreme examples of what the Meatpacking District was and what it has become—a convergence of fashion, food, art, and nightlife. More than most businesses in the area, however, the company hopes to—and should—appeal to local residents to return to the neighborhood that has largely become a tourist attraction.
The low red and yellow brick base, dating from 1938, housed meatpacking operations until 2007. It is now the ground floor of the dramatic flagship that opened in late February, Samsung 837. Though the immersive space highlights the range of Samsung products, it is not a store; nothing—save locally sourced coffee and baked goods—is for sale. Rather, the company has envisaged a cultural center, a 4D virtual reality adventure, an experimental theatre, and a technologically advanced living room, all of which amounts to an astounding sensory experience.
The convivial environment is unintimidating. Free, weekly outdoor activities include yoga, a running club and guided meditation. Ongoing culinary demonstrations, film screenings and live music are presented in an amphitheater that faces ‘The Screen’—a three-story wall comprised of 96, 55-inch-wide digital panels, which is, in the truest sense, awesome.
Architect Morris Adjmi’s trapezoidal black steel exoskeleton—both elegant and angry—nods to the neighborhood’s industrial past as does the raw wood and exposed brick interior. The four-story, 55,000-square-foot building was designed to be larger still; it arrived at its current size in deference to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Executive Director Andrew Berman concedes that the structure “can be quite eye-catching from the High Line.”
Coupled with the 450 free public programs and activities offered annually by Friends of the High Line, Samsung 837 is a creatively rich yet inexpensive resource for members of the community. Moreover, Zach Overton, Samsung General Manager and Vice President for Experiential Marketing for 837, hopes that their “neighbors and friends don’t hesitate to reach out with event ideas and opportunities to further collaborate.”
And while you can’t buy a new phone, you can have your broken one fixed.