Originally called The Blackwell's Island Bridge, The Queensboro Bridge opened to traffic on March 30th, 1909. The area underneath the bridge consisted of a buff-colored canopy of tile vaults designed by Rafael Guastavino, an architect from Barcelona. Guastavino worked with his son to develop the area into commercial space, adapting a centuries-old vernacular technology called the Boveda Catalan, or the Catalan Vault. This beautiful arcade underneath the bridge served as a year-round marketplace where vendors sold fruits and vegetables, quickly becoming known as Bridgemarket. However, with the onset of the Depression in the 1930s, the market was forced to close down. Several years later the space was reopened for use by the New York City Department of Transportation. On November 23rd, 1973, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Queensboro Bridge a landmark, including the large areas below the bridge, which were described as notable. Over 100 of Rafael Guastavino's treasured works have been registered as New York City landmarks. Over the next 20 years, a number of entrepreneurs attempted to develop the space. With neighborhood opposition from local community groups who were opposed to an increase of traffic, any plans for refurbishment were shelved. It was not until July of 1995 that all parties agreed on a design concept and The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved all revisions for the future development of Bridgemarket. Bridgemarket would occupy a total of 98,000 square feet and include a market, a restaurant and retail space. In 1997, London based Conran Holdings signed a lease for 42,000 square feet to open a furniture and housewares store, The Terence Conran Shop, and 25,000 square feet for two restaurants, Guastavino's and Club Guastavino. On December 8th, 1999 Bridgemarket introduced its first tenant, The Terence Conran Shop. On February 14th, 2000, Guastavino's began an extremely successful run as an a la carte restaurant. However, it was determined, based on the sheer size of the space and the countless requests to hold private functions, that the best use for Guastavino’s would be to concentrate on hosting private events only. In November of 2005, Guastavino’s New York event venue reopened as the premier event space in the heart of New York City.