12th Ave | 11th Ave | 10th Ave |
9th Ave | 8th Ave | 7th Ave |
6th Ave | |
Broadway | 5th Ave |
Madison | Park Ave S | Lexington Ave | 3rd Ave |
2nd Ave | 1st Ave
U.S. Postal Service Vehicle Maintenance Facility
601: Nine miles of strip windows surround this 19-story, block-filling former factory-warehouse,
now lofts; the AIA Guide calls it a
"landmark of modern architecture" since its construction in 1931.
The south entrance features offices for Martha Stewart
Living, the headquarters of Club Monaco and
Hugo Boss, the multimedia company
Palm Pictures, the
International Poster Center, the Pilates studio
several photography studios.
534: Gorney Bravin + Lee
530: John Connelly Presents, a small,
528: Galerie Lelong also
has galleries in Paris and Zurich.
526: West Chelsea Arts Building features a number of art galleries, including
Greene Naftali, Ten in One and Henry Urbach Architecture.
Bose Pacia features modern South Asian art.
From 1979-85, this was Funhouse, an electro/break-dancing
club. New Order's video "Confusion" was filmed here.
Bridging the street here is a disused elevated railroad that was used to transport
freight along the Westside waterfront, replacing the street-level tracks at 10th and 11th avenues that earned those roads the nickname "Death Avenue." Built in 1929 at a cost of $150 million
(more than $2 billion in today's dollars), it originally
stretched from 35th Street to St. John's Park Terminal,
now the Holland Tunnel rotary.
Partially torn down in
1960 and abandoned in 1980, it now stretches from Gansevoort almost
to 34th--mostly running mid-block, so built to avoid
dominating an avenue with an
elevated platform. In its abandonment, the High Line
became something of a natural wonder, overgrown with
weeds and even trees, accessible only to those who risked
trespassing on CSX Railroad property.
In 2009 it was
opened to the public as New York City's newest park; it truly
transforms its neighborhood and hence the city. This section of the park was opened to visitors in 2011.
Named for Dr. John L. Elliott, a leader in the Society for Ethical Culture and founder of the Hudson
Guild, an important Chelsea social agency.
Corner (281 9th Ave): Chelsea School (PS 33), K-6. Also houses PS 138 for autistic children.
Penn South Houses
Stretching from 23rd to 29th streets between 8th and 9th avenues, this 1962 housing co-op was built by the
Ladies Garment Workers Union to provide housing for the Garment District.
Manor Community Church; congregation
founded 1855, building from 1907.
Penn South Houses
This performane space under a supermaket
under a tennis court is home to the
Upright Citizens Brigade Theater,
a coalition of improv groups that got kicked out of their
old home, a former strip club on West 22nd, because it
was a firetrap. UCBT is one of the cultural gems of
New York City--highly recommended.
Cormer (320 8th Ave): Daniella, an Italian that has,
according to Zagat, some of the best food in Chelsea.
250: Former Wells Fargo building is now
Paddles, "the friendly
S/M club." Also home to
Pandora's Box, another S/M dungeon.
242: Was Wessel + O'Connor Gallery (1997-2001)--
moved to DUMBO
236: On the 8th floor here
Jazz Record Center, which has an incredible inventory of
200 (corner): Chelsea Centro;
new apartments. Built on the site of
Guffanti's, gaslight-era restaurant.
Corner (322 8th Ave): This building--once the Pennsylvania
Exchange Bank--houses offices of Amnesty International,
Bacon's clipping service, the Chakrasambara Buddhist Center
and the Rotary Club of New York.
Chelsea Television Studios
221: Home of the Ricki Lake Show and
Judge Hatchett. Was Adolph Zukor's Famous Players,
a silent film company that featured Broadway actors in
adaptations of classics; after merging with other film
companies, it became Paramount Studios.
Mel Brooks' The Producers was shot here in 1967.
Corner: A state university founded in 1944 to
provide "an MIT for the fashion industries."
The architecture looks inspired by Stonehenge.
On this block is the school's Museum of Fashion.
Lefcourt Clothing Center
Corner (275 7th Ave): This 1929 building originally
housed garment workshops, one of the first lofts built for
that purpose; now houses the garment workers' union UNITE--the
merged ILGWU and ACTWU. Organic Market is on this corner on the ground floor.
160: Was Minnesota Fats billiards supplies
New York Dance Center
offers everything from ballroom dancing to Japanese sword-fighting.
156: Chelsea Bicycles
154: Below Co Co Sushi is
Muse Karaoke Studio--very
friendly, nice song selection and really good TVs.
Benisty Hair, fashion-y salon. Upstairs is
Martial Arts Center--Tae Kwon Do.
150: Maxine Grand fabrics; Empire Pump & Motor
144: Lois Hanier, "an inoffensive French Saloon keeper,"
was murdered here on Christmas Eve 1881 by one Michael McGloin.
Inspector Thomas Byrnes' capture of McGloin has been described
as "one of the finest pieces of detective work ever done in any city."
134: Chelsea Arts Building
132: 26th St Gourmet Deli was Mother West Deli--
in undoubtedly the oldest building on the block. Recently
130: A1 Color Lab
122: The prime gathering place for players of
collectible card games and fantasy roleplaying games
(e.g. Dungeons & Dragons).
The building is the Dezer Building; downstairs is
Permanent Foliage: Replica and Preserved Botanicals--
i.e., fake plants.
114: Was Metropolitan Fencing, sword-fighting school--
complete with Touche Cafe.
110: New York Wood Flooring Corp showroom
100 (corner): Chelsea Tower--new, slightly sinister highrise.
177 (corner): Building that was S&W (Summer & Winter?)
clothing has attractive brick arches.
165: S&W Ladies Wear--remnant of the long-running
store on the corner.
155: Sculpture House Casting
153: Zucker's Fine Gifts
147: KDM Hardware
Burgundy Wine Company holds nightly tastings.
135: Studio of
Mercer Media (formerly on Mercer Street), where the
CounterSpin radio show is produced. During
the blackout of August 28, 2003 I had to walk up 12 flights
of pitch-black stairs here to escort my pregnant wife down.
A theater seems to be going in here on the ground
127: Black Door Bar was the site of the first-ever
reunion of interns from The Nation magazine,
October 3, 2002.
119: Marjorie's Catering; On the Move Events
117: Avenue A Cards, art postcards and posters--transplanted from
St Marks Place, I believe.
111: Montauk Credit Union
105: Sewtech Sewing Machine Co. shows
the block's Garment District roots.
99: Time Sewing Machine Co., another survivor
Corner (775 6th Ave): FAS: Fifth Avenue Style, cheap clothing
Block: This 35-story apartment building in 2007 replaced a parking lot
with big weekend flea market--featured
in the children's book My New York.
"Kristen," the professional escort whose assignation
with Gov. Elliot Spitzer led to his
resignation, lived here at the time the
38: The Block USA Sportswear
36: Sirtaj, Indian take-out; I often eat
the vegetable biryani here.
30: Was Markus Antique Gallery, including the
International Antiques Center.
28: The building with the yellow-painted ground floor was the
Hotel Caledonia, where writer
O. Henry lived (1906-07)
before moving to the Chelsea Hotel; he kept a
room here for writing. He collapsed here June 3, 1910, and died two days later.
26: The Lambs Club, an actors'
society, had its first permanent offices
at this address. Among its many famous members are counted
Fred Astaire, Gene Autry, several Barrymores, Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan,
Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Victor Herbert, Bert Lahr,
Alan J. Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Ring Lardner, Will Rogers and John Philip Sousa.
By 1897, the brownstone had become the first
clubhouse of the Yale Club. Now a parking lot.
22-24: Metro Line was Regal Wear
20: A well-preserved classic brownstone (sans stoop).
16: Built in 1866 as Trinity Chapel's Clergy House;
now offices for St. Sava.
St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
15: Back entrance. Before 1943, this was the
Epicopalian Trinity Chapel, an satellite of downtown's
Trinity Church, built 1850-55 to a
Upjohn plan. (He also did downtown's Trinity
Church and what is now The Limelight.) Diarist
George Templeton Strong was a member of
the congregation; novelist
Edith Wharton was
(unhappily) married here in 1885.
After being sold to the Orthodox, the church was renamed for
the first archbishop of Serbia. The exiled King Peter II
of Yugoslavia attended mass here in the 1940s.
St. James Building
Corner (1133 Broadway): This ornate 1897 office building,
surmounted by Ionic pillars, provided
offices for architects, including its designer, Bruce Price, and the
Flatiron's Daniel Burnham. Future Israeli prime minister Golda Meir worked here for the Pioneer Women's
Organization for Palestine (1932-34).
From 1965 to 1968, this was
the base of the Mattachine Society, the leading pre-Stonewall gay
rights group. Back to Africa Imports is on the
ground floor on the 26th Street side.
Built on the site of the fashionable St James Hotel, which Confederate saboteurs tried to burn down on
November 25, 1864.
55 (corner): The orangey brick Capitol at Chelsea was built on the site of The Racquet Club, the first sports club in NYC.
Later the University Athletic Club. The building, the most interesting on this stretch of 6th Avenue, was landmarked, but money spoke louder than architecture. The Antique Cafe on the ground floor used to be a block away on 25th Street.
37: The Princess Marion Kiamie building
Satalla, the "temple of world music";
Stepping Out Studios, which
offers free "OutDancing" gay dance
classes; Gstaad, Swiss-themed lounge;
and Kavehaz, a jazz gallery cafe bar restaurant.
35: Sportstar USA
33: Mite Inc Imports Exports & Wholesale
31: B.W. Sportswear
29: The Von-Hoffman building, with fancy pillars, houses the Latin American Restaurant.
25: A handsome red brick building, defaced
on the lowest two floors, houses The Source Clothing
Company, affiliated with the hip-hop magazine.
23: For a time this was the headquarters
of the Communist Party USA; the offices were bombed
a half-dozen times from 1964 to 1972, with a
particularly powerful blast in 1966 destroying
the stained glass in St. Sava's apse.
Writers House literary agency--
which represents such writers as
Nora Roberts, Ken Follett,
Erica Jong and
is in the former HQ of the Astor family real estate empire.
A cute little old house.
19: A-1 Hats, wholesaler
15-17: Pro-Land Inc. wholesale sportswear.
The Breathing Project, nonprofit yoga space.
13: Thunderbird Sportswear, hat and cap wholesaler
Corner (1141 Broadway): Houses wholesalers Epoch USA (hats), Fortuna Jewelry.
Block (212 5th Ave): The 5th Avenue corner
was the site of Dodworth Studios, where Teddy Roosevelt
took dance lessons as a boy. In 1876
Delmonico's, at the time the most fashionable
restaurant in New York, moved here. This location
was the birthplace of Lobster Newberg and Eggs
Benedict. The women's
organization Sorosis met in an upstairs room. When
Delmonico's moved uptown in 1899, it became Cafe
Martin, where on June 25, 1906 architect Stanford
White had his last meal before being shot at his
Madison Square Garden. This building went up in 1913;
the FX cable channel was here in the 1990s.
Corner (1146 Broadway): Was Price Leader Inc.
Corner (220 5th Ave): Crystal Clear
Galleries is on the ground floor of the Croisic
Building (1912)--on the site of the Croisic
Hotel, named for Richard de Logerot, Marquis
de Croisic, aristocrat and hotelier. Fancy
gargoyles on the upper floors.
Madison Square Park
The 1807 plan set aside 240 acres in this
vicinity as The Parade, to be used for military training.
In that same year, the U.S. Arsenal was
built here to defend the strategic
intersection of the Bloomingdale Road
(now Broadway) and the Eastern Post Road.
By 1814, when the park was named Madison Square
after the then-current president, it had been reduced to 90 acres.
In 1847, when Madison Square Park was opened, less than seven acres remained.
The park, which was laid out in its current form in 1870, was the center of New York society in the 1860s and '70s. "The vicinity of Madison Square
is the brightest, prettiest and liveliest portion of the great city," James McCabe wrote in 1872.
In July 1901, an attempt to turn seating in the
park into a for-profit concession sparked rioting.
The park provides a setting for O. Henry short stories like
"The Cop and the Anthem" and "The Sparrows in Madison Square").
The U.S. Arsenal was converted by
1824 to the House of Refuge of the
Society for the Reformation of
Juvenile Delinquents--the first
such institution in the country.
Admiral Farragut Memorial
1881 commemoration of David Glasgow Farragut, Civil War fleet commander, best remembered for his "damn the
torpedoes, full speed ahead" line. Sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, pedestal by Stanford White. Considered to be the
first use of Art Nouveau in U.S.
Chester Arthur Statue
Commemorates the 21st president, who lived and took his oath of
office nearby on Lexington Avenue.
Corner (225 5th Ave):
Handsome red-brick building was
formerly the Brunswick
Hotel, noted as the home of the Coaching Club,
which held carriage parades up 5th Avenue. Waldorf
chef Oscar Tschirky and restaurateur Louis Sherry
got their starts here as bellhops. On July
14, 1880, on the 16th day of a celebrated 40-day
fast, Dr. Henry S. Tanner stopped here and drank
two ounces of water. It's now "the
premiere international giftware showplace." On
the ground floor was Cafe Atomico
11: House International Silver Co.
and other silverware wholesalers. This building was used for
rooftp shots in Spider-Man 2.
15: Madison Square Building houses,
among others, the Vietnamese-American Chamber of Commerce.
This used to be the headquarters of Lionel Trains;
on the second floor there was a huge model train layout
surrounded by display cases of older Lionel train sets.
21: In Willa Cather's My Mortal Enemy,
protagonist Myra Henshawe lives in a brownstone on this
block. This building seems to be the only survivor of
the era when fashionable townhouses lined Madison Square.
Oppenheimer Advertising is upstairs.
23-25: A stone oak wreath marks the entrance
of the Neptune Building, a 1910 design by Maynicke and Franke.
Now the showroom for Hafele, maker of architectural
and furniture fixtures.
Corner (50 Madison): Built in 1896 for the American
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 2005,
modernized and expanded above the second floor.
Corner (41 Madison): Out-of-place black-glass
modernist building built in 1974 has showrooms for china, silver, crystal etc.
Built on site of Jerome Mansion (1859-1967),
birthplace of Jennie Jerome, Winston Churchill's mother. Later housed
Manhattan Club, meetingplace for Democrats like
Grover Cleveland, Al Smith, FDR, and birthplace of the Manhattan cocktail.
You can drink an (expensive) Manhattan at Le 26, fancy cafe--formerly Chazal.
Corner (360 Park Ave S): Lerner Building is home to Reed Elsevier,
monopolistic science publisher.
New York Life Building
Block (372 Park Ave S): A 1928 building by
Cass Gilbert, the designer of the Woolworth Tower;
the rooftop pyramid is a trademark of his.
Built on site of New York, New Haven & Hartford Depot,
which in 1871 became P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome, later
Gilmore's Garden, which the Vanderbilt family turned
into the original Madison Square Garden.
This was torn down and rebuilt in 1890 to a design by
Stanford White--considered his masterwork. Topped
by Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Diana (now in Philadelphia
Museum of Art; a smaller copy is at the Met). In 1906, White was
shot and killed in his building's Roof Garden by
Harry K. Thaw, jealous husband of White's former mistress Evelyn Nesbit.
In 1900, the Garden was the site of the first
U.S. auto show. In 1913, it hosted the Patterson
Strike Pageant, organized by Mabel Dodge and Big
Bill Haywood, directed by John Reed with scenery
painted by John Sloan. The longest Democratic
convention in history was held here in 1924, picking
John Davis after 17 days.
This intersection is dubbed Herman Melville Square.
104 (corner): Office building next to the Armory
has the address of
Herman Melville's home from 1863-91,
where he wrote Billy Budd. National Law Journal
has offices here.
69th Regimental Armory
68 (corner): This building was the home of
Armory Show in 1913, which introduced modern
art to the United States. Organized by the
American Association of Painters and Sculptors,
a group that represented the "Ashcan School" of
social realism, the show brought
widespread attention (and initially ridicule) to
abstract painters like Matisse, Picasso,
Van Gogh and Cezanne. Marcel Duchamp's Nude
Descending a Staircase was singled out for abuse
"Fighting 69th" of the New York Army
National Guard was
"New York's only official Irish regiment,
according to New York City Landmarks. The
troop fought in the Civil War with heavy casualties,
and took part in both world wars.
Corner (365 Park Ave S):
Hotel Giraffe, tall and slender, includes the restaurant Barna
(formerly Sciuscia, and before that Chinoiserie).
111: Several amalgamated and modernized
117-127: Row of handsome brownstones,
with stoops intact
Building (commonly known as 88 Lexington) houses the
Corner (77 Lexington): Famous Original Ray's,
not so much either. Since 1964, though. Also the Fava
134: Was Salon Mexico
138: Baruch College Student Health Center
152: The back entrance of Baruch College's
built in 1894 as a power station for the cable cars of
the Metropolitan Street Railway Company of New York, and later the Lexington Company.
Converted to a library in 1994 by Davis Brody Bond.
Corner (354 3rd Ave): Vertigo is
an updating of Abbey Tavern, long-running Irish pub; in the 1960s was Tobin's,
described as having "old-time decor but modern prices." The building
has recently been modernized as well--an
interesting treatment of fire escapes.
Corner: Saravandaas, Indian vegetarian with
five A's in its name.
137-139: Hill House
147-149: Amalgamated Industrial and
Toy & Novelty Workers of America Local 223
153: Just east of this building is a
private lane called Broadway Alley--
said to be Manhattan's last dirt road. It
has one address on it, 8 Broadway Alley.
Corner (358 3rd Ave): Bamiyan, Afghan
Corner (355 3rd Ave): Innovative Woodwork
206-210: Entrance to a charming inner courtyard.
220: Grubbiness probably helps this modern yet old
226-230: Elaborately detailed apartments
232: "The only Old Law tenement left in the entire goddamn zip
code," according to a reader.
238: Liberty Studios is owned by filmmaker
Anthony Lover, who made a Ingmar Bergman parody called
"De Duva" that briefly tricked me into thinking
I could speak Danish.
Holographic Studios, a commercial hologram lab
with a free gallery of 3-D images.
242-244: Old three-story rowhouses
Corner (459 2nd Ave): Mexico Lindo restaurant
Corner: Sunflower Diner
203: Ollie's Place Pet Supplies/Cat Adoption Center
207: Tatany seafood takeout was Moo/Shoes vegan footwear.
"And before vegan footwear was... a butcher's shop!" notes a reader.
215: Anthony's Haircutters, old-school
225: Sibling to No. 220
239: An attractive brick plaza with
a waterfall, provided by the Parc East tower
in order to get a zoning variance. The city
sued the building in 2000 because it had locked a
passageway that was supposed to connect this
mini-park with 27th Street.
Corner (240 E 27th): Parc East apartment tower
310: Address of the Riverside Rest
Association, which cared for women released
from Blackwell's Island, including "women who are addicted to
alcohol, or victims of the opium habit, or immoral."
330 (corner): Phipps Houses South were built by
the Phipps Houses Group, a nonprofit development
group founded in 1905 by Henry Phipp, a business partner
of Andrew Carnegie. These buildings were part of a
project to provide nearby affordable housing for Bellevue
workers. People who put up money for the project sued the group
in 2002 to force the buildings to become for-profit.
Includes the Acorn School.
334: NYU dorm
342 (corner): NYU School of Medicine's Basic Science Building,
built in 1897 for Bellevue Hospital Medical College
Phipps Plaza West Apartments
Corner (462 2nd Ave): These buildings were put up in 1976 by the
Phipps Houses Group
as a major part of the South Bellevue Urban Renewal project.
Since 2002, rival lawsuits have sought to take
the project out of the Mitchell-Lama program
or keep the housing nonprofit until 2011.
On the ground floor is Totonno's, the second Manhattan
branch of a beloved Coney Island pizzeria. Used to be Old San Juan Too, Puerto Rican/Argentine.
The Vineyard Theatre, now in the Zeckendorf, used
to be here.
Corner: Bellevue South Park, a small
neighborhood recreation area
Public Health Lab
Block (455 1st Ave): houses the
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center.
This center played a key role in developing
the combination drug therapy that has
greatly reduced the death rate from HIV in the U.S.
In 1996, Dr. David Ho, the center's director,
was named Time's person of the year.
This institution got its start in 1794, when the city needed a site to treat victims of a yellow fever
epidemic far from the city center, they bought the Belle Vue estate of Peter Keteltas, named for its
of the East River. In 1811 additional land nearby was purchased from the Kip family.
Songwriter Stephen Foster, who fatally injured himself in a Bowery flophouse, died here in 1864. Socialist
Congressmember Meyer London died here after being struck by a car in 1926.
People used to refer to the emergency ward as the Eastman Pavilion because gangster Monk Eastman sent
so many people here with his club.
It's most famous for its psychological services; Dr. Norman Jolliffe's study of patients here helped establish the
modern concept of
alcoholism. Santa Claus was sent to Bellevue for observation in
Miracle on 34th Street, and
Ray Milland dried out here in The Lost Weekend. In "For You," Bruce Springsteen sang that "They're waiting for
you at Bellevue/With their oxygen masks."