21st Stret Blog Chelsea Manhattan Walks

21st STREET, Chelsea – Forgotten New York

I lately took a stroll from Penn Station, exploring the most recent and ultimate part of the High Line that may open to the general public, into Chelsea, south along 4th Avenue and the Bowery, and throughout the Manhattan Bridge. In occasions past I might put collectively a 150-photo epic page describing and illustrating the stroll, however lately I’m content material to chop it up into sections, like document labels did in the previous days with widespread albums, periodically selling “singles” consisting of the songs they thought would sell greatest for radio play.

I don’t have a advertising analysis division (years ago I was making an attempt to place one into place however it didn’t work out) so I don’t know what stories or pictures will get individuals to click on the advertisements or sign up for tours — if I had the magic information I’d benefit from it — but I do save time and, I’m positive, Forgotten Fans’ endurance by composing shorter pages, and so shorter it’s. Today, I’ll consider West 21st Street, which I had never actually walked down earlier than except for brief stretches here and there, on its western part by means of Chelsea.

It turns out that West 21st Street largely parallels the roadbed of a colonial-era roadway that existed lengthy before the current road grid was surveyed and specified by the early 1800s. This, a plate courtesy the New York Public Library, is a piece of John Randel’s grid survey map compiled via painstaking research and survey work between 1805 and 1811. Future numbered streets in the grid are listed — I have named a couple of right here — however notice that teh grid is positioned atop a number of pre-existing roadways.

As the grid was progressively built as property house owners bought off their parcels to the town, these roads — many based mostly on the routes of Native American trails — steadily have been used much less and fewer and pale from existence as homes and companies have been constructed in their roadbeds. On this map, no trace exists of Fitzroy Road, which ran east of eighth Avenue, or Southampton Road, which minimize a northeast path throughout the newly deliberate grid. Only Broadway stays as an aboriginal street that was allowed to survive.

As it occurs, West 21st Street largely parallels one in every of these unique roads, Abingdon Road, also recognized popularly within the colonial era as “Love Lane.” The street’s proper identify comes from the Earl of Abingdon, the son-in-law of Sir Peter Warren, a Royal Navy officer who owned much of the territory in Greenwich Village and some of Chelsea before the Revolutionary War, together with the triangle of property now occupied by Abingdon Square at Hudson and Bethune Streets.

The High Line has frequent exits onto Chelsea streets. A storefront on West 20th Street displays the identify “Under Line Coffee,” benefiting from its location beneath the trestle.

At 10th Avenue and West 20th-21st Streets the west end of the General Theological Seminary, an Episcopal institution, comes into view.

Thomas Clarke, a retired British seaman, purchased acreage in this space (roughly between West 14th and 23rd Streets and seventh Avenue west to the river), naming it for Chelsea Hospital in London, a facility akin to NYC’s Sailors Snug Harbor, a retirement place for retired seamen. His son was Clement Clarke Moore, of ‘”Twas the Night Before Christmas” fame.

Architect George Coolidge Haight designed and built the varied Gothic Revival buildings of the Seminary, including the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, between 1827 and 1902. The Seminary grounds had been an apple orchard owned by Clement Clarke Moore, an academician who was Professor of Oriental and Greek literature, in addition to divinity and biblical Learning on the General Theological Seminary, which had been founded in 1817; Moore donated a part of his property for the new Seminary buildings. Moore anonymously revealed the holiday poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” in a Troy, NY newspaper in 1823; he didn’t publish it with a byline until 1844. Moore’s depiction of Santa Claus within the poem, mixed with Thomas Nast’s depictions, helped to solidify The Jolly One’s current picture. The Seminary has a powerful library and the campus, accessible from ninth avenue, is an city oasis of quiet.

From one worship-based establishment to another, the Roman Catholic Church of the Guardian Angel, 193 10th Avenue at West 21st Street, sits catercorner from from the General Theological Seminary. The parish originated on West 23rd Street in 1888. The unique church had to be torn down within the early 1930s to make means for the West Side Elevated Freight Railroad — right now referred to as High Line Park, which faces the again finish of the church.  The New York Central Railroad, subsequently, funded this new Sicilian Romanesque church that was accomplished in 1930 with John Van Pelt as its architect. Lavish bas reliefs on the 10th Avenue aspect depict Biblical scenes so as from Genesis to the Apocalypse.

The parish parochial faculty on 10th Avenue was constructed concurrently the church and shares its Sicilian Romanesque design.

A Queen Anne-style condominium building at 192 10th Avenue, across from Guardian Angel church and faculty, is house to the unbiased bookstore 192 Books; bookstores, unbiased or chained, are more and more uncommon within the Amazon Era.

A well-preserved trio of homes on the landmarked block of West 21st at the corner of 10th Avenue, #469-473. They are Italianate walkups constructed in 1853.

Here’s #439-443 West 21st, on the north aspect of the street. Most residences on the north aspect of the block face the Greater Theological Seminary on the south aspect. Once once more, all three date to 1853, an excellent yr for structure in Chelsea. In the 1910s, the center house, #441, was the home of poet Wallace Stevens, whose “Sunday Morning” was deemed by critics to be among the many best of the style within the 20th Century.

It’s unusual to see small brick and body buildings dealing with main north-south avenues in Manhattan but there’s a gaggle of them here in Chelsea on the west aspect of 9th Avenue north of West 21st. Nos. 185-189 are small picket buildings constructed from 1856-1868 for James N. Wells’ real property pursuits. The brick building on the nook is definitely the oldest, constructed in 1831-1832. Wells himself lived within the building for  a number of years beginning in 1833. Later, he would occupy a good-looking Greek Revival house at #162 9th Avenue at West 20th Street, and then a number of extra houses in trendy neighborhoods.

It was Wells who together with Clement Clarke Moore, the writer of “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” who began the development of recent Chelsea in the 1830s. Even although Moore opposed the grid plan that may finally divide his landholdings in western Manhattan, he knew the place his bread was buttered and bought subdivisions to wealthy New Yorkers, complete with covenants that specified what might and couldn’t be constructed on the properties. Stables, factories and slaughterhouses have been out. Even at present, Chelsea, with its hooked up suburban-ish houses on aspect streets between about West 17th-West 22nd Streets, has a pleasing, small-town uniformity about it.

The pale signal on the brick constructing a number of doors down from his previous house carried Wells’ identify for over a century until the solar finally bleached it out of existence.

One of the “supertall” Hudson Yards towers, with an statement deck that shall be NYC’s highest when it opens in 2020, looms over the previous buildings.

PS 11/Middle School 260, #320 West 21st between eighth and 9th Avenue sports activities an immense piece by OsGemeos, Brazilian brothers Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo, in collaboration with NYC’s Futura. Hard to see here however the boy’s pants include small versions of flags from many countries. Futura 2000 (Leonard McGurr, 1955- ) has painted for many years and commenced together with late legends Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat within the late 1970s. Futura’s voice may be heard on The Clash’s “Overpowered by Funk” on their 1982 Combat Rock album.

#323 West 21st, between 8th and ninth, has the red-painted doors of a firehouse, and when it was inbuilt 1865 at the end of the Civil War that’s what it was. It’s nonetheless labeled as The Old Chelsea Firehouse. However, it solely served in that capability for a couple of years earlier than it was subdivided into separate residences around 1875. Dancer Franziska Marie Boas established a studio within the building in 1933 that lasted about 20 years. In 1949 she leased part of it to an artist who had arrived in recent times from Pennsylvania named Andy Warhol.

On a West 21st Street gate at #305 might be discovered a recreation of probably the most famous scene from George Mélies’ groundbreaking 1902 movie A Trip To the Moon. Decades later, the Smashing Pumpkins based mostly the award-winning Tonight, Tonight video on Mélies’ film. According to John Tauranac in his 2018 ebook Manhattan’s Little Secrets, the gate was commissioned in 1997 by a gaggle of documentary filmmakers whose workplaces have been in the building. It was designed and produced by Philadelphia ironworker Warren Holzman.

Probably probably the most famed picture of Albert Einstein, the good German physicist who discovered that mass equals power occasions the velocity of sunshine squared and proved the idea of relativity — principally the constructing blocks describing how the universe works — is Einstein playfully sticking his tongue out, photographed by Arthur Sasse in 1951.

The picture appears on the aspect of 212 8th Avenue at West 21st, house to the Vibe lingerie store on the ground flooring, formerly the Rawhide membership.

#256-262 West 21st Street east of 8th Avenue, a gaggle of Anglo-Italianate hooked up houses constructed within the mid-1850s. Tom Miller describes its colourful and infrequently tragic characters on this Daytonian in Manhattan entry.

The Beaux Arts (ca. 1900) #272 and 274 West 21st.

A pair of brownstone guardians, whose faces have worn down over time, at #211 West 21st.

The School of Visual Arts was based in 1947 by Silas Rhodes and Burne Hogarth in 1947 as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, turning into SVA in 1956. It’s an accredited school with a school of 1000 and a scholar body of 3000 scattered amongst its campuses: the primary one at East 23rd and 2nd Avenue in Gramercy Park, the Lower East Side, and a number of other buildings on East 21st between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Though I attended a competitor faculty, the long-defunct Center for Media Arts on West 26th Street (the place I discovered Photoshop and QuarkXPress expertise that carried me via almost 15 years of employment) I did attend a category in this SVA department to brush up on my Adobe Illustrator expertise, although nobody will declare I’ve any inventive talent.

The five boroughs are chock full of strange little cemeteries, left over from long-gone household homesteads, or from churches or congregations that have since moved away. The biggest focus of those is in Queens and Staten Island, however Manhattan has a couple of as nicely — the New York and New York City Marble Cemeteries off East 2nd Street within the East Village, for instance, and the three Shearith Israel Cemeteries in St. James Place in Chinatown, here on West 11th off sixth Avenue, and 10 blocks north on West 21st off 6th.

Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City from 1654 till 1825. During this complete span of historical past, all the Jews of New York belonged to the congregation. Shearith Israel was founded by 23 Jews, principally of Spanish and Portuguese origin. The earliest Jewish cemetery in the U.S. was recorded in 1656 in New Amsterdam the place authorities granted the Shearith Israel Congregation “a little hook of land situated outside of this city for a burial place.”

This is one in every of three remaining Shearith Israel cemeteries in NYC, and the “newest,” in use from 1829-1851. The oldest of the three is on St. James Place close to Chatham Square in Chinatown, and the other, much of it obliterated when West 11th Street was built, is on that road east of sixth Avenue. The one here on West 21st is the most important.

Who is Hugh O’Neill, and why is his identify on this constructing excessive above Sixth Avenue and 22nd Street? Back within the good previous days, circa 1900, Hugh O’Neill owned the constructing, and the store on the ground flooring. Just about every little thing right here has been changed indirectly, besides the constructing. Formerly it was a part of the so-called Ladies Mile strip along Sixth Avenue within the 20s, featuring division and dry-goods shops.

In the 1990s, Ladies Mile rebounded after this stretch of 6th Avenue had sunk into decrepitude within the 1970s, as new shops like Bed, Bath and Beyond occupied the older emporium buildings. The Hugh O’Neill building even regained its former gilded pair of domes.

The northwest nook of sixth Avenue and East 21st, whereas in the landmarked Ladies’ Mile district chock full of huge emporia, presents a stretch of Italianate buildings of varying heights built within the 1870s. On one is a painted ad for a former tenant, the Wolf Paper & Twine Company. Founded in 1916, the company was situated here until 2003.

The large Adams Dry Goods Building, #675 sixth Avenue, was built for the company based by Canadian Stanley Adams in 1900-1902, designed by architects DeLemos and Cordes at the peak of the Beaux-Arts period. In 1907 Adams bought out to competitor Hugh O’Neill and went out of enterprise utterly by World War I. The constructing has had numerous uses, among them a Hershey chocolate manufacturing unit and for storage by the US Army. You might keep in mind the huge Barnes and Noble bookstore on the ground flooring in the 1990s and 2000s.

Check out the ForgottenGuide, take a look at the present store, and as all the time, “comment…as you see fit.”