Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of the Manhattan borough
of New York City. It is located to the south of Hell's Kitchen and the
Garment District starting at 34th Street, and north of Greenwich Village,
and the Meatpacking District that centers on West 14th Street. West
- East boundaries are from West Street to 5th Ave. below 23rd St, and
Broadway above 23rd St. The neighborhood is part of Manhattan Community
Board 4 and Manhattan Community Board 5. An area in the neighborhood
is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Chelsea Historic
Chelsea is sometimes referred to, along with Hell's Kitchen, as Manhattan
West. A longstanding weekly newspaper is called the Chelsea-Clinton
News. The weekly newspaper, Chelsea Now, also serves the neighborhood.
Chelsea takes its name from a Federal-style house of retired British
Major Thomas Clarke, who named his home after the manor of Chelsea,
London, which was home to Sir Thomas More. Clarke's house was inherited
by his daughter Charity and her husband Benjamin Moore, and was the
birthplace of writer Clement Clarke Moore, credited with writing "A
Visit From St. Nicholas" and author of the first Greek and Hebrew
lexicons printed in the United States.
"Chelsea" stood surrounded by its gardens
on a full block between Ninth and Tenth Avenues south of 23rd Street
until it was replaced by high quality row houses in the mid-19th century.
The former rural charm of the neighborhood was tarnished by the freight
railroad right-of-way of the Hudson River Railroad, which laid its tracks
up Tenth and Eleventh Avenues in 1847 and separated Chelsea from the
Hudson River waterfront. Clement Clarke Moore gave the land of his apple
orchard for the General Theological Seminary, which built its brownstone
Gothic, tree-shaded campus south of "Chelsea."
Converted townhouses along 23rd Street.By 1900, the neighborhood was
solidly Irish and housed the longshoremen who unloaded freighters at
warehouse piers that lined the nearby waterfront and the truck terminals
integrated with the freight railroad spur. The film On the Waterfront
(1954) recreates this tough world, dramatized in Richard Rodgers' 1936
jazz ballet Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.
Chelsea was an early center for the motion picture industry before
World War I. Some of Mary Pickford's first pictures were made on the
top floors of an armory building on West 26th St.
In the late 19th century West 23rd Street was the center of American
theater, headed by Pike's Opera House (1868, demolished 1960), on the
northwest corner of Eighth Avenue.
London Terrace was one of the world's largest apartment blocks when
it opened in 1930, with a swimming pool, solarium, gymnasium, and doormen
dressed as London bobbies. Other major housing complexes in the Chelsea
area are Penn South - a Mitchell-Lama development and the NYCHA-built
and operated Fulton Houses and Elliott Chelsea Houses. All four are
clustered together. The Elliot Chelsea Houses are the site of one of
five facilities operated by the Hudson Guild, a settlement house dating
back to 1895. That building, named for founder John Lovejoy Elliot,
contains an off-Broadway theater and fine arts programs.
In the early 1940s tons of Uranium for the Manhattan Project were stored
in the Baker & Williams Warehouse at 513-519 West 20th St. The uranium
was only removed and decontaminated in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
Traditionally, Chelsea was bounded on the east by Eighth Avenue, but
in 1883 the apartment block, soon transformed to Hotel Chelsea helped
extend it past Seventh Avenue, and now it runs as far east as Fifth
Avenue below 23rd St., and Broadway above 23rd St. to its northern border
of 34th St. The neighborhood is primarily residential with a mix of
tenements, apartment blocks and rehabilitated warehousing, and its many
businesses reflect that diversity: ethnic restaurants, delis and clothing
boutiques are plentiful. Tekserve, a vast Apple computer repair shop,
serves nearby Silicon Alley and the area's large creative community.
The Chelsea Lofts district (the former fur and flower district) is located
roughly between 6th and 7th Ave. from 23rd St. to 30th St. Chelsea has
a large gay population, stereotyped as gym-toned "Chelsea boys."
The McBurney "Y" on West 23rd St., commemorated in the hit
Village People song Y.M.C.A., sold its home and relocated to a new facility
 on West 14th St., the neighborhood's southern border.
Most recently, Chelsea has become an alternative shopping destination
with Barneys CO-OP - which replaced the much larger original Barneys
flagship store - Comme des Garçons, and Balenciaga boutiques,
as well as being near Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christian
Louboutin. Chelsea Market, on the ground floor of the former NABISCO
Building, is a destination for food lovers.
As New York's visual arts community moved from SoHo to West Chelsea
in the 1990s, the area bounded by 10th and 11th Avenue and 18th St.
and 28th St. has become one of the global centers of modern contemporary
art. The West Chelsea Arts District is home to over 370 art galleries
and innumerable artist studios.
The area is also home to the modern dance company Cedar Lakes, who
perform in their theater in the West Chelsea Arts district.
The Chelsea SchoolIn Chelsea there are three Public schools: Public
School 11, also known as the William T Harris school, or PS 11 to its
students and Intermediate School 70, also known as O'Henry, IS 70, and
the Liberty High School For Newcomers. Chelsea is home to the Fashion
Institute of Technology, a specialized SUNY unit which serves as a talent
wellspring for the city's fashion and design industries. The School
of Visual Arts, an independent college and the public High School of
Fashion Industries and also have a presence in the design fields. Touro
College, a independent college with Jewish roots and programming, has
its main campus in Chelsea, with a focus on business, social & physical
sciences. The neighborhood is also home to The General Theological Seminary
of the Episcopal Church, a graduate institution for the training of
Christian leaders and the oldest seminary in the Anglican Communion.
The Center for Jewish History, a consortium of several national research
organizations, is a unified library, exhibition, conference, lecture
and performance venue, located on 17th st. between 6th and 5th ave.
Chelsea is a melting pot of cultures. Above 23rd Street, by the Hudson
River, the neighborhood is post-industrial, featuring the newly-hip
High Line that follows the river all through Chelsea . Eighth
Avenue is a center for LGBT-oriented shopping and dining, and from 20th
to 22nd street between Ninth and Tenth avenue, mid-nineteenth century
brick and brownstone townhouses are still occupied, a few even restored
to single family use .
Since the mid-1990s, Chelsea has become a center of the New York art
world, as art galleries moved there from SoHo. From 16th Street to 27th
Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, there are more than 350 art galleries
that are home to modern art from upcoming artists and respected artists
as well. Along with the art galleries, Chelsea is home to the Rubin
Museum of Art - with a focus on Himalayan art, the Chelsea Art Museum,
the Graffiti Research Lab and the Dance Theater Workshop - a performance
space and support organization for dance companies. The community, in
fact is home to many well regarded performance venues, among them the
Joyce Theater - one of the city's premier modern dance emporiums and
The Kitchen - a center for cutting edge theatrical and visual arts.
InterActiveCorp headquarters on West StreetChelsea has experienced a
new construction boom, including a nine-story, computer-designed, shaped
glass office building on West Street designed by Frank Gehry, and has
become New York's center for aesthetically inspired building by the
worlds leading architects.
The district was first added to the National Register of Historic Places
in 1977 (District #77000954), and later expanded to include contiguous
blocks containing particularly significant examples of period architecture
in 1982 (District #82001190). This, in addition to comprehensive rezoning
completed in 2004, is designed to protect the West Chelsea Arts district
and allow for the development of world class architecture on its periphery.
Chelsea Piers - The Chelsea Piers were the city's primary luxury cruise
terminal from 1910 until 1935. The RMS Titanic was headed to Pier 60
at the piers and the RMS Carpathia brought survivors to Pier 54 in the
complex. The northern piers are now part of an entertainment and sports
complex operated by Roland W. Betts. See also Hudson River Park.
Chelsea Market - In an old, restored building, this marketplace hosts
a variety of vendors, including bakeries, Italian grocery stores, a
fish market, Manhattan Fruit Exchange, wine store and many others.
Chelsea Studios - Sound stage on 26th Street since 1914 where numerous
movies and television shows have been produced.
The Church of the Holy Apostles was designated a New York City landmark
in 1996. The National Register of Historic Places listed Italianate
structure with an octagonal spire suffered a devastating fire in 1990
but reopened after a major restoration in April 1994. The Episcopal
house of worship is the second and larger home of LGBT-oriented synagogue,Congregation
Beth Simchat Torah (CBST) and is also known for hosting the city's largest
program feeding the poor.
Empire DinerEmpire Diner - An art moderne diner designed by Fodero Dining
Car Company and built in 1946, altered in 1979 by Carl Laanes. Located
at 210 Tenth Avenue at 22nd Street, it has been seen in several movies
and mentioned in Billy Joel´s song "Great Wall of China".
The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church and its college-like
close, sometimes called "Chelsea Square", a city block of
tree-shaded lawns between 9th and 10th Avenues and between West 20th
and West 21st Streets. The campus is ringed by more than a dozen brick
and brownstone buildings in Gothic Revival style. The oldest building
on the campus dates from 1836. Most of the rest were designed as a group
by architect Charles Coolidge Haight, under the guidance of the Dean,
Hotel Chelsea - Built in 1883, it was New York's first cooperative apartment
complex and was the tallest building in the city until 1902. After the
Chelsea theater district migrated uptown and the neighborhood became
commercialized, the residential building folded and in 1905 it was turned
into a hotel. The hotel attracted attention to the neighborhood as
the place where Dylan Thomas had been staying when he died in 1953 at
St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village, and the 1978 slaying of
Nancy Spungen for which Sid Vicious was accused. The Hotel has been
the home of numerous celebrities and the subject of books, films (Chelsea
Girls, 1966) and music.
Hudson River Park - The entire Hudson River waterfront from 59th Street
to the Battery including most of associated piers is being transformed
into a joint city/state park with non-traditional uses.
High Line - The High Line is an elevated rail line that was once used
to handle freight from the waterfront. Originally slated to be torn
down because it created an industrial atmosphere in the neighborhood
it is now being converted into an elevated park by New York Architects
Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
London Terrace - The apartment complex on West 23rd was one of the world's
largest apartment blocks when it opened in 1930, with a swimming pool,
solarium, gymnasium, and doormen dressed as London bobbies.
Penn South - A large limited-equity housing cooperative built by the
United Housing Foundation and financed by the International Ladies'
Garment Workers' Union covering six city blocks, between 8th and 9th
Avenue and 23rd and 29th Street.
Peter McManus Cafe -Peter McManus Cafe is among the oldest family owned
and operated bars in New York City
The People's Improv Theater is an Off-Off-Broadway theater located at
154 W. 29th Street. The PIT is both a performance venue that presents
original comedic shows every night of the week and a training program
that focuses on teaching improvisation as well as teaching comedy performance
and sketch writing.
Pike's Opera House, quickly renamed the Grand Opera House, opened in
1868 on the corner of Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street, and survived until
1960 as an RKO movie theater