Long before Chelsea became a hub for art galleries, the Dia Art Foundation operated a facility on West 22nd Street, a site it closed in 2004. Now four floors of the red brick building have been leased by Absolute Events and will reopen for event rental in July as Center548. (Dia has plans to return to the neighborhood with a new location across the street from the original arts center.)
While the structural integrity of the spaces remain intact, Absolute Events will add a new power system, bathrooms, and some components to make it more user-friendly for event planners and vendors.
Center548 occupies the second, third, and fourth floors, each of which measures approximately 9,500 square feet and holds 300 for receptions. Designed originally as exhibition space, these are open-plan areas with poured concrete floors, plaster walls on the west and east sides, and brick walls on the north and south sides.
In addition to a dedicated 100-amp electrical supply, the venue's upgrade will include a mobile catering prep station, decking for the roof, and lighting on dimmer switches, as well as hanging points for additional spots, gobos, and other gear. The venue will have no permanent sound system or exclusive contracts with vendors.