Wetlands Preserve

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Justin Broadrick performing with Godflesh at Wetlands Preserve on November 11, 1996

Wetlands Preserve, commonly referred to as "Wetlands", was a nightclub that provided a habitat for nightlife in New York City for nearly thirteen years. Its dual purpose was to create an earth-conscious, intimate nightclub that would nurture great live music, integrated with a full-time environmental and social justice activist center. It was located at 161 Hudson Street in the Tribeca neighborhood.

The original concept came from founder-owner Larry Bloch, who set its course for over eight years before passing the helm to Peter Shapiro in 1997. Shapiro remained faithful to the mission until September 2001, when the gentrification of TriBeCa caused the building to be sold and the club was forced to close before being converted into condominiums.

The Wetlands' independent, in-house booking strategies and the freedom to play all night nurtured a scene that helped bands develop a following. Late-night jams lasting until dawn were common. It was the intimate connection fostered between artist and audience, the continuity of a live DJ connection to the vibe of the night, and carefully balanced sound throughout the club, including the halls and bathrooms, that would bring the 7,500-square foot, two-level space to a pulsing unity that John Popper of Blues Traveler would lastingly nickname "Sweatglands."[1] Supported by the music, Wetlands spent over one million dollars during its lifetime to fund the Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve, originally named the Eco-Saloon.

On October 24, 2012, Larry Bloch died from pancreatic cancer at 59.[2] As of 2015, the Activism Center, now called Wetlands Activism Collective, continues to operate.[3]

Documentary film and book[edit]

Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Rock Club,[4] a 90-minute documentary that commemorates Wetlands Preserve, was released in 2008. Produced and directed by Dean Budnick, the film gained accolades on the film festival circuit [5] and then aired for several years on Sundance Channel.

In 2014, Wetlands NYC History: A Visual Encore, a book documenting the club's history and event lineup was compiled by Bloch's former wife, Laura Bloch Borque and released via Frog2Prince publishing. The 248 page book features copies of each of the club's hand-drawn monthly event calendars.[6]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°43′18.4″N 74°00′30.5″W / 40.721778°N 74.008472°W / 40.721778; -74.008472