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September 8, 2016

In a First, Salt Storage Shed Constructed by DDC Hosts Fashion Show

Fashion photographers point their cameras at the Salt Shed, which looms in the background.
Photographers gathered at the Spring Street Salt Shed.

Ian Michaels
Executive Director of Public Information

New York, NY—For the first time in the history of New York Fashion Week – and likely the world – a fashion show was held yesterday inside a municipal salt storage shed.

The Spring Street Salt Shed, built in 2015 by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for the New York City Department of Sanitation, is no ordinary salt storage area; it was selected by the Municipal Arts Society of New York along with an adjacent sanitation garage built by DDC as the winner of the Society’s 2016 MASterworks Award for Best New Building. The New York Times in December called the buildings “two of the best examples of new public architecture in the City.”

“DDC sees every assignment as an opportunity to provide architecturally impactful, sustainable and resilient buildings,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “This event demonstrates how a utilitarian building can contribute to one of the most glamorous events in our city. We never thought of this type of event for this building. Our goal was to ensure that the structure fits within the direction the neighborhood is going. Now as we think about how New York City is the center of fashion, it is appropriate that this City-owned salt shed is stylish enough to host a prominent Fashion Week event.”

Pedestrians walk by the West Side Highway. In the background stands the Salt Shed.
The Spring Street Salt Shed at the West Side Highway in Manhattan.

On the outside, the salt shed was designed to look like the crystalline structure of a salt particle. Underneath, the structure is highly resilient and designed to withstand possible flooding from future storms that may affect the nearby Hudson River. A light color roof paver was chosen for the building to help reduce the heat island effect.

Designer Heron Preston and the NYC Department of Sanitation selected the salt shed to be the location of Wednesday’s display to present Preston’s new line of clothing based on repurposed DSNY uniforms and upcycled clothing, called “Uniform” Heron Preston for New York’s Strongest. The 6,300-square-foot salt shed’s angled concrete walls provided a unique venue for the show, which allowed attendees behind-the-scenes access to the facility that houses the tons of rock salt the Sanitation Department uses on City streets during winter storms.

“The Spring Street salt shed was a perfect venue for the Fashion Week event,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “Many times, the average New Yorker may not think twice about the Sanitation Department, but when the Foundation for New York’s Strongest and Heron Preston collaborated on a project that honored the Sanitation Workers who serve the city with dignity, the stately and distinguished Spring Street salt shed turned out to be the perfect location.”

In all, the Spring Street Salt Shed has won at least six major awards, including the AIA New York Architecture Honor Award; the AIA New York State Design Award for Excellence; the NYC Art Commission Design Award 2011; Best New Building—Municipal Arts Society (MAS) MASterworks Awards; the Concrete Industry Board (CIB) Roger H. Corbetta Award, Public Works; and the SARA NY Design Award for Sustainability.

The Spring Street Salt Shed was designed by Dattner Architects of New York City. 

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit

About the Foundation for New York’s Strongest
The Foundation for New York’s Strongest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the work of the New York City Department of Sanitation. The Foundation, established in 2016, is educating New Yorkers in protecting our environment, highlighting DSNY workers’ service and commitment in keeping New York City healthy, safe and clean, and aiming to one day, establish a new, educational DSNY museum.