The Shed

Yesterday morning, in raw, windy, 30 degree weather in NYC, I took a walk up the Highline to Hudson Yards. As I made the turn west at 29th street, I saw The Shed emerge through the tall buildings.

The Shed is a new arts institution created to commission works from artists, both emerging and established, across multiple genres. It is all about facilitating and celebrating artistic innovation.

I got involved with The Shed about four years ago around the time Alex Poots was selected as the Chief Executive and Artistic Director. Alex is an impresario of the modern age, comfortable working across many genres and with artists of all kinds, from Grammy-winning musicians to kids he sees dancing in the streets. It is Alex’ ability to stitch all of this together and make it coherent, entertaining, and inspiring that infected me with an interest in what The Shed can be.

I have consulted with The Shed on technology matters and the Gotham Gal and I have been benefactors as well.

Yesterday The Shed was dedicated and the opening performance, The Soundtrack of America, which features performances from roughly thirty emerging black musicians, will open friday night. We will be there.

The person who made The Shed happen is my friend Dan Doctoroff. It was a proud moment for me yesterday to see Dan standing up on stage talking about this thing that he helped to make happen.

It is my hope that The Shed will have the same cultural impact on NYC that Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, and similar arts institutions have had.

It is really rewarding to get involved in projects like this. Watching the idea come together, then watching it get built, and then watching it open. It reminds me that imagination and will can achieve so much.


Comments (Archived):

    1. JamesHRH

      Excellent counter point.

    2. jason wright

      What is that zigzag thing traversing the lower space?

      1. Tom Labus

        Just the edge of High Line guard rail.

        1. jason wright

          Ah, that’s an optical ‘illusion’. It looks (to me at least) like a much more substantial structure away in the middle distance, but now i see the reality. Thanks.

  1. iggyfanlo

    I lived in NYC 1983-2003 just as the city was coming out of bad times. I saw amazing progress. I’m sincerely happy to see that this trend has only continued. NICE WORK New Yorkers

  2. JamesHRH

    The Shed seems like a wonderful thing.Designing it to look like it is permanently wrapped in construction tarp…… not so much.

    1. DJL

      I seriously thought it was covered before the opening. Still a very cool idea and I wish we had one.

    2. Peter J. Mills

      The reverse grandeur of the name encourages this thought, too. A bit like the Centre Pompidou in Paris . . . “when are they going to take the scaffolding down?” But full marks to the architects for boldness.

    3. Vasudev Ram

      Heck, yes. I actually thought it was temporary construction covering of some kind, maybe for the cement or paint to dry πŸ™‚

      1. jason wright

        Very close. Shed = (etymology) shade.The Shed (and the Thomas Heatherwick ‘thing’ next to it) are fig leaves, ‘shading’ our view of the embarrassment that is the grotesque Hudson Yards development. Hideous financial capital architecture….and why is public art always dominated by the ‘great and the good’?

  3. jason wright

    The exterior panels remind me of the Allainz Arena in Munich. I wonder if the panels change colour? That would be fun.…Confusion here. The Shed and the Bloomberg Building, are they the same physical structure?

    1. JamesHRH

      The design element here is complete (not just a part of the structure), which makes it far more appealing to the eye.

      1. jason wright

        It’s just not on wheels πŸ™‚

    2. jason wright

      Having done a little bit of research i can confirm that the panels of Shed and Allianz Arena are of the same material and construction technique. I’m sure it would be possible to retrofit lighting for splendid colourful illumination. A Kickstarter project worth backing?

  4. William Mougayar

    Hudson Yards is the largest private construction project in the US at $20B. Wow. Congrats for the Phase I opening.

  5. DJL

    It’s good to be you in NYC, man. Congrats. i will definitely visit next time in NYC.

  6. Gili Golander


  7. awaldstein

    To cool. Have a bunch of meetings up there next week and will see it then.Arts really matter.My evenings when very young in the basement of Cornelia Street Cafe listening to slam poetry are amongst the best I remember.

  8. TeddyBeingTeddy

    How on earth are they going to keep those lines clean? Can you imagine the guy that needs to get up there and dig out all the gunk that accumulates over time, like plaque between crooked teeth?!

  9. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Stunning photos! I’ll have to wander over there on my next trip in to the city. It’s still kind of surreal to see the NYC landscape changed so much. Not all of it is good (imo) but this part certainly is.

    1. fredwilson

      I took these photos with my Pixel 3. I can’t believe how great they came out

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        At first glance, I thought the first one was an artist’s rendering!

      2. Ryan

        I wondered if this was taken on a pixel. I love my iPhone, but my next phone may indeed be the Pixel 4.Very nice photos.

  10. Twain Twain

    Love Highline. Love the idea of inflated kites as the roof of the Shed.

  11. sigmaalgebra

    Absolutely drop dead gorgeous picture, walk way, and architecture.But:(1) Good art is tough, really tough, REALLY tough to do. I.e., it’s difficult and rare. It’s also maybe nearly as tough to foster with organizations, architecture, steel, glass, bricks, and mortar. When I look at the history of good art, I see individual people working usually with little or no outside help and, maybe, with a start from just none, one, or a few good teachers, maybe just a parent.(2) My favorite art form is music, and, sorry, from my time in Memphis, Nashville, and to the present, I just HATE pop music.(3) I continue to see NYC as with a lot of amazing, even astounding, things but, still, basically getting a grade of F on necessarily the most important issue of all — family formation. Or, even from orbit, on average, all across the US, we are doing so poorly at family formation we are rapidly, literally going extinct — grade flat F. And my guess is that NYC is one of the worst, basically a black hole of failed family formation, at or near the bottom of a class that as a whole is getting a grade of F.Much, much better than even the best of NYC is some family in a suburb of a medium sized city in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Iowa, etc.And, for art, I see Europe, even some of the former Soviet states, doing much better fostering the careers of good artists than anything in the US. Sorry ’bout that — US money can import some good artists, but the home grown stuff is a backwater in the world and a humiliation of the US. Sorry ’bout that.Yes, the US, including Juilliard in NYC, has produced some world class artists, e.g., singer Fleming, violinist Perlman, but all things considered, not enough for a good grade. The grade is still F.When some European artist performs some European art at Lincoln Center, it’s usually terrific.Yes, the walkway and architecture are just drop dead gorgeous, but on both art and family formation, NYC, the grade is F.

  12. Salt Shaker

    There are talkers and there are do-ers. Dan Doctoroff is a do-er. He’d be a great Mayor in nyc.

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. 100% .Would be a fantastic Mayor. Not sure he could get elected absent a crisis like the one that helped his friend Mike (a truly great Mayor) get elected

    2. joahspearman

      Was just thinking that his Wiki page reads like a man on the verge of a Mayoral run, but the climate is tough particularly when the most famous person in New York politics right now is AOC.

  13. jason wright

    “The Shed is a bad idea well executed.”Why is it a bad idea?

    1. JamesHRH

      Making it look like it is wrapped for construction isn’t particularly interesting or visually stimulating.It is like a tech product that has features but no market demand. It is an idea, but it is an idea that adds no aesthetic value.Pompidou centre makes the guts of a building look interesting – different colours for different functions, etc.This looks unfinished, which I get the intellectual connection to creativity being never ending, but unfinished creative ideas are also of little value, on their own.#TheProcess

  14. William Mougayar

    Got it.The subway extension itself is somewhat of a breakthrough. I can’t remember when they built a new subway station…prob decades ago.

  15. jason wright…”Ross began his career as a tax attorney at Coopers & Lybrand in Detroit. In 1968, he moved to New York City and accepted a position as an assistant vice president in the real estate subsidiary of Laird Inc. and then worked in the corporate finance department of Bear Stearns.In 1972, he left employment and living off $10,000 lent to him by his mother,[14] he utilized his federal tax law knowledge to organize deals for wealthy investors allowing them to shelter income with the generous incentives granted by the federal government to promote the construction of federally subsidized affordable housing.”