12th Ave | 11th Ave | 10th Ave |
9th Ave | 8th Ave | 7th Ave |
6th Ave | Broadway | |
5th Ave |
Madison Ave |
Park Ave S | Lexington Ave | 3rd Ave |
2nd Ave | 1st Ave
Nine miles of strip windows surround this 19-story square-block
former factory-warehouse, now lofts; the AIA Guide calls it a
"landmark of modern architecture" since its construction in 1931,
but calls the north facade (on 27th Street) "ponderous" and
615: In 2003, NYPD officers
shot and killed
Ousmane Zongo, an unarmed African
art dealer, at Chelsea Mini-Storage here, mistakenly
believing him to be part of a CD counterfeiting
544: Cain, safari-themed nightclub
with a reservations-only door policy.
532: Home is supposed to look like a
rock star's living room.
530: The New York branch of
Spirit, a New Age-y Dublin dance club.
Former site of Twilo, 1990s
dance club with the best sound system in NYC;
Danny Tenaglia's home base. Closed by Giuliani
in a club crackdown.
From 1989 until 1995, it was Sound Factory, where
DJ Junior Vasquez became famous. Upstairs is BED New York,
a high-priced bed-themed club with a reputation for
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.
547: Cornel Dewitt Gallery. Upstairs
A Classical Record, which boasts more than
45,000 (!) classical, opera and jazz records.
This building also houses
Aperture, a foundation started by Ansel Adams and other photography greats.
515: Bungalow 8, exclusive bar whose
men's room is "perhaps the best in Manhattan,"
according to the New York Observer.
High Line Park
436: Hudson Guild
Elliott Houses, built 1947, are 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.
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.
Corner (338 8th Ave): Utopia Diner
250: Gus' Figs Bistro, Mediterranean; Cafe 27
Fur Art Building is a 1928 design by
William I. Hohauser.
234: Fashion Design Bookstore
230: Co-Ed Dormitory
220: Nagler Hall
210: Alumni Hall
Corner: Shirley Goodman Resource Center
Museum at FIT
Ball-and-hoop statue is Eye of Fashion (Cronbach, 1976).
A: FIT's Dubinsky Student Center; built in 1977
and named for the ILGWU leader who helped found the American Labor Party and New York's Liberal Party.
B: Business & Liberal Arts Center
C: Marvin Feldman Center
D: Fred P. Pomerantz Art & Design Center
Abraham Franklin, a disabled coachman,
was lynched from a lamppost at this intersection
during the Draft Riots of 1863 for being African-American.
Corner: Manhattan Heroes, old-school
158: Was NYC Liquidators, videos and DVDs at
bargain basement prices. The building is a 12-story 1913
Browne & Almiroty design.
154: Aadar Leather, the raw material, crammed to the ceiling
144: Buchman & Fox planned this
1912 12-story building.
122: Offices of the left journal
Monthly Review. The
Brecht Forum also used to be located here.
building is a 12-story Townsend, Steinle & Haskell
design from 1913.
118: World Electronics, part of the
Wholesale District, in Maximilian Zipkes'
12-story building from 1911
114: William H. Birkmire designed this
12-story building in 1908.
112: Above Mega Trading Corp were the
offices of the media watch group FAIR from 2001-09.
Also houses Ceramica Arnon,
designer tile workshop.
104: Sona Toys Novelty
is in a 1910
12-story building by Frederick C. Browne.
Since 2009, it's the
address of FAIR,
the media watch group that produces the magazine
Extra! (edited since 1990 by New York Songlines
compiler Jim Naureckas) as well as the radio show CounterSpin.
Corner (793 6th Ave): Great H&B Trading Co.
153: George M. McCabe designed this
12-story 1913 building.
129: The modeling agency Click has the penthouse office
in a 1911 Buchman & Fox building.
121: The offices of
MADRE, the international women's
human rights organization, are above Lucky Toys,
in a 12-story 1910 building by Buchman & Fox.
115: Manhattan Wholesalers Inc.
is in a 12-story 1911 building by Maximilian Zipkes.
Jay-Z and Beyonce have a recording studio here.
109: Grand Success Inc.
107: The building housing the
Ace Banner company was a brothel in the
1870s--one of 22 on this block at that time,
though this is the only one whose building
still stands. A New York sex guide of the
era described Mrs. Standly's at this address
as "very quiet."
103-105: Was G Bar (previously Nye); more than one
friend had a crazy story about this place. Was the Margaret
Strachan Home and Mission, dedicated to saving the fallen women of the
Tenderloin. The location was chosen because of "the licentiousness
then rife in the vicinity of 27th Street" (King's Handbook)--
still pretty rife today, actually.
101: New Dragon Toy Wholesaler
99: The Buzz, honestly named liquor store
Corner (795 6th Ave): Sheng Po Enterprises, wholesaler
Corner (774 6th Ave): Built on the site of The Racquet Club,
the first sports club in NYC, built 1876.
Later the University Athletic Club, finally
the Coogan Building. The most interesting
structure on this stretch of 6th Avenue, it
was landmarked, but money spoke
louder than architecture. Now an unfortunate
50: Master Cutting Table Co. has been here
at least since the 1960s.
The Capitol has a plaza behind it--nice bamboo.
40: Hair Motion, wig wholesaler
28: Center for Book Arts
is in a handsome red brick building.
22: From 1889 until 1892, this was
the address of the Manhattan Chess Club.
In 1890-91, club member Wilhelm Steinitz defended
his world champion title here against Isidor
Corner (1157 Broadway):
Broadway Plaza Hotel (and Broadway Pizza) are
on the site of the Holland Brothers' Kinetoscope Parlor,
the world's first movie house--where Edison's
hand-cranked movies were first
shown on April 6, 1894. Also the site of the studio of John Rogers, a popular 19th Century sculptor.
Corner (800 6th Ave):
The Aston, a luxury high-rise. Above a blocky
base, the tower is comparatively stylish, with windows
layered like fish scales. Also known as the Archstone
Chelsea after being bought by one of the largest
apartment management companies in the country.
49: Radio Wave Building, where
Nikolai Tesla, electrical genius who invented
(among many other things) alternating current,
stayed in 1892, when this was the Hotel Gerlach.
39: Senton Hotel, long-standing budget hotel painted a peculiar bright blue.
Stella Adler School of Acting,
famous for nurturing Brando, De Niro, Harvey Keitel etc.,
is now at this address.
Corner (1165-1175 Broadway):
Was the Coleman House Hotel, built 1907--
note Chicago School-style bay
windows. Now houses such wholesale outlets
as Fashion City, Lavish International,
Manhattan Street Wear and Over Mars Ltd.
Block (1150 Broadway): The Victoria Building, a
19-story design by
Schwartz & Gross that went up in 1914, is on the site of
the Victoria Hotel, where President
Grover Cleveland lived
between his two separated terms of office.
The current building houses the wholesaler
India Cottage Emporium and the National Tree Company
(Christmas trees, that is).
The 5th Avenue end of the building houses Alpine
Designs, oddly named Oriental furniture store. (This is the
upscale part of the Wholesale District.)
On the roof is
trendy bar with a
Corner (1158 Broadway): Source USA (formerly
Undefeated Wear) is in a peculiar red-and-black
vertically striped building.
17: Hip Hop Wear is in a cute four-story
15: Was Da Jump Off, streetwear wholesaler
Corner (234 5th Ave): Naturally Tasty
health food restaurant;
Hobby Squirrel, scale-model kit boutique,
is on the 4th floor.
At this corner, on December 12, 1910, 25-year-old
Dorothy Arnold was seen for the last time.
The disappearance of the wealthy
young woman is a mystery that has never
225 (block): Handsome red-brick building was
formerly the Brunswick
Hotel, noted as the home of the Coaching Club,
which held carriage parades up 5th Avenue. On July
14, 1880, on the 16th day of a celebrated 40-day
Henry S. Tanner stopped here and drank
two ounces of water. Later it was known as the
Gift Building, "the
premiere international giftware showplace."
Now converted to luxury condos--why couldn't
they have called it The Brunswick, a name with
125 years of history?
14: Building held up by owls
and scholarly gargoyles is the
Madison Square Building, a 1912 highrise by Maynicke & Franke.
On the ground floor was Happy Valley, glitzy club,
which was Wonderland which was Social Club.
Corner (233 5th Ave): A newish institution dedicated to erotic history and culture. Its
website had an amazing map of Manhattan's sexual history.
7: A funky, affordable hotel filled with
original art by the likes of Andy Warhol and
Roy Lichtenstein. A unique lodging experience.
The structures coming out of the building's
facade are a work of art called
"Tongues and Flames"
by Finnish artist
Stefan Lindfors. Includes the
art-filled bar Gallery and the restaurant Tang.
9: This beautiful brick and terra-cotta building
is the back of the Prince George Hotel.
Once the fashionable haunt of personalities
Diamond Jim Brady and
Lillian Russell, this
1906 hotel was
the first to boast a private bath in every room. Later a notorious
welfare hotel. Still a home for the formerly homeless, now
much better run--and it looks great.
an old-school swingers' club.
21 (corner): Madison Hotel was once part of a
chain that included the Senton up the street. Includes
Kebab King (formerly Bun Tikki) and Madison Kiosk.
This spot has a claim to being the birthplace of baseball, since the
Knickerbocker Base Ball
Club, which helped develop the game's modern rules, played at
an empty lot around here.
Designed in 1928 by
Cass Gilbert, who did the Woolworth Tower; the
rooftop pyramid is a trademark.
Built on site of New York, New Haven & Hartford Depot, which
in 1871 became P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome, later Gilmore's Garden,
a roofless three-story arena that Vanderbilt family turned into the original
Madison Square Garden. This was torn down and rebuilt in 1890 to a
Stanford White--considered his
masterwork. Topped by
Diana (now in the Philadelphia Museum
of Art; a smaller copy is at the Met). In 1906,
shot and killed in the Roof Garden by Harry K. Thaw,
jealous husband of White's former mistress Evelyn Nesbit.
What would become the Westminster Kennel Show began
here in 1877.
Jumbo the elephant was presented by Barnum at the
old Garden in 1882; heavyweight champion
John L. Sullivan was indicted
for "fighting without weapons" after a
bout there with the British champ in 1884. In
1895, the rebuilt Garden was the site of the
first U.S. cat show, and in 1900 of the first U.S. auto show. In 1913 it hosted
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
John W. Davis after 17 days and 103 ballots.
In the building's northeast corner is Houstonís,
a fancy American restaurant.
Block (28 E 28th): This modern building houses
Ziff Davis Media,
publisher of PC Magazine and other technology-oriented titles.
There's also extra offices for New York Life here.
31-33: The address of a fancy brothel
Rev. Charles Parkhurst on his famous tour of the
New York underworld. Here he witnessed a game of naked leapfrog.
35: Site of the Gonoga Hotel, later the Oxford--
part of the same chain that included the Senton
and the Madison up the street.
Corner (381 Park Ave S): The
Fourth Avenue Building--dating back to 1910, before
Park Avenue South was renamed. Impressive gilding.
Primehouse, steaks, was a fratty sports bar called the
Park Avenue Country Club.
114: Vision Unlimited/Gotham Eye Associates
Blue Smoke, voted
best barbecue of 2005 by Time Out readers;
Jazz Standard, a live-music club.
12-story 1915 building by Rouse & Goldstone.
Italian restaurant with matching wine bar
126: Townhouse with fancy entrance
Corner (90 Lexington): Prison-like
modernist mid-rise from 1959
Corner (387 Park Ave S): This building with the Puerto Rico-based Doral Bank
on the ground floor was the long-time home
of Marvel Comics.
The buiilding now houses
Basic Books and the magazine
111: Devon Shops French Furniture is on the ground floor
of the corner building.
119: The bar Vig 27 was Aubette, leather-clad French,
and in the 1980s Tory's, a luxurious
(and illegal) after-hours club frequented by celebrities.
121-123: Kiamie Arcade Building--impressive pillars.
Houses Aki Sushi III and Vino, Italian wine shop. Used to
have the Veggie Center and its
VivaVeggie Society, which seem to have gone underground.
129: Chennai Garden (formerly Jaipur Elite Indian Cuisine), a
vegetarian Indian that marks the beginning of "Curry Hill."
In the 1930s this was the Balkan Restaurant.
Corner (100 Lexington): Saravana Bhavan was Cardamomm, Indian noted for
its wine list. Building also houses the Om Boutique--sarees,
Indian videos, etc.
Corner (97 Lexington): New York Deli Lex
134: Om Saree Palace, Indian clothing; Roomali,
tasty Indian wraps; Kenara Paan Shop, "Pakistani Indian
Audio Videos Newspapers Magazines Candys"
A Spanish-language company founded in 1968,
moved here in 1972 to the Gramercy
Arts Theater, which was started by
Butler Davenport as a free theater--considered the
first ''Off-Broadway'' theater
(though obviously not the first theater off of Broadway).
Andy Warhol's Sleep premiered here January 17, 1964.
140: Stone Creek, sylish bar, was Cafe Goa
142: Seven-story red brick apartment building.
A 2003 court case here determined that new building owners are not
liable for rent overcharges by previous owners.
150: Gotham House apartments. The private lane
to its east is called Broadway Alley--
said to be Manhattan's last dirt road. It
has one address on it, 8 Broadway Alley.
160 (corner): La Delice Bakery,
attractive pastries in an
unattractive white brick
Corner (99 Lexington): Curry Leaf, Indian
owned by Kalustyan's, where many restaurants buy
133-135: Unusual two-story tenements
have Barber $hop on ground floor.
137: Was Pak Middle East Books--
notable arched tenement windows
143: Was Vinoteca, an event space for
wine tastings, wine education, etc.,
owned by the guy who owns I Trulli and Vino.
15 floors of brown brick built 1964
200: Victoria House apartments
218-222: Wild carved faces--check out the guy sticking his tongue out above No. 218.
234-236: First Christian Church of the Valley; Spanish/English Assemblies of God church
Parc East Tower, 1977 building
with 26 floors
Corner (375 3rd Ave): Urban honky-tonk. The
bar is in a converted horse trailer. The band
American Ambulance made me cry here with their
song "Hey Richard Nixon."
221: Once was the hub of a sizable Armenian community. The church, built in 1923, was named for
Gregory the Illuminator, who converted Armenia to Christianity.
225: Nathan Straus Houses Community Center
Nathan Straus Houses
public housing named for a co-owner of Macy's
who gave much of his wealth to philanthropic
projects, including lodging houses, a tuberculosis
sanitarium for children, World War I relief and
health centers in Palestine.
Straus was a primary
proponent of the pasteurization of milk.
P.S. 14 used to be on this site.
Kips Bay Court
Corner (460-520 2nd Ave): Was Phipps Plaza West Apartments,
large complex built
in 1976 as part of the South Bellevue Urban Renewal
program to provide nearby affordable housing for
Bellevue workers. "Phipps" is Henry Phipps, a
partner of Andrew Carnegie's who in 1905 founded
the nonprofit development group that carried out
the project. In 2002, however, people who put up
money for the project sued to force it out of the
Mitchell-Lama nonprofit housing program.
Public Health Laboratories
Corner (455 1st Ave):
A division of the NYC Department of Health; houses the
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center,
which played a key role in developing
the combination drug therapy that
greatly reduced the death rate from HIV.
In 1996, Dr. David Ho, the center's director,
was named Time's person of the year.
Theodore Roszak's 1969 statue Sentinel honors
''those intrepid men and women who dedicate themselves
to science and humanity.''
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 view
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.
It's most famous for its psychological services; Santa Claus is sent to Bellevue for observation in Miracle on 34th Street, and
Ray Milland dries out here in The Lost Weekend. In "For You," Bruce Springsteen sings that "They're waiting for
you at Bellevue/With their oxygen masks."