Named by retired British Major Thomas Clarke, who purchased the property in 1750, the land that now comprises Chelsea is today bordered by 14th and 30th Streets and lies between Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan. Clarke’s daughter, Charity, inherited the estate. She and her husband, Benjamin Moore, added to the property, and their son, Clement Clarke Moore, author of the famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” became the next heir of the estate. In addition to donating the estate’s apple orchard to the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Moore began selling part of Chelsea to other wealthy New Yorkers. By the mid-19th century, an industrial zone had risen along the Hudson River, which was followed by commercial growth in western Chelsea. Next came a theater district, and Chelsea served as an early motion picture center, with several Mary Pickford features filmed there. Noted structures include London Terrace, one of the world’s largest apartment complexes in the 1930s; cooperative housing development Penn South; and the art deco Verizon Building.
Today, Chelsea’s buildings and retail establishments reflect the diversity of its population. Ethnic restaurants, clothing boutiques, Barney’s CO-OP, Chelsea Market, delis, and other establishments attract residents and visitors alike. The thriving West Chelsea Arts District includes a number of private studios and more than 370 galleries. The former flower and fur district has become the Chelsea Lofts district, where Stanley Ginsberg and other New Yorkers can enjoy the rich history and tapestry that make up the vibrant Chelsea of the 21st century.
About the Author:
As one of the top real estate agents in New York City, Stanley Ginsberg
, Senior Vice President of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate
, has sold apartment and loft conversions in such areas as Greenwich Village, Tribeca, SoHo, and Chelsea, including prime properties on West 15th Street. For the last 20 years, Ginsberg has chosen to reside in a Chelsea loft.