Chelsea Market is an arcade of boutique stores and unique eateries with an industrial-themed look, located on the entire city block between 15th and 16th Streets and 9th and 10th Avenues. I’ve visited many times and I am always fascinated by the hard granite, rustic metal and worn brick look of the place.
What is the story behind Chelsea Market?
In the 1890s baking companies occupied this space, which consisted of 19 different buildings at the time. The space has now been transformed into just one building.
In 1898, several of the larger ones merged into the National Biscuit Company, better known as Nabisco. It was here, back in 1912, that the Oreo cookie was invented.
Nabisco left in 1958 and the space remained mostly empty over the years. In the 1990s, a new owner developed these empty buildings, connecting them into just one.
When you walk through the Chelsea Market arcade of stores, you are immediately charmed by the granite benches, industrial ceiling fans, exposed elevator shafts (no longer in service, of course), plaques, antique ads painted on the faded brick walls, historic artifacts preserved in glass cases. It makes the place look like they pretty much left it as it was… but don’t be fooled. Chelsea Market is that way by design. Still, these touches make Chelsea Market very enjoyable to walk through, and it maintains the feel of the history of the Chelsea neighborhood.
On the upper floors are television studios like Food Network, MLB.com, music producers and YouTube offices.
What is Chelsea Market’s Future?
Google is currently in contract to buy Chelsea Market. The deal is expected to finalize in April 2018. They already own the 1932 Art-Deco building across the street, a building that occupies the entire city block and has more floor space than Apple’s brand new headquarters in California.
Why are they buying Chelsea Market? We’ll have to wait and see…
Best Taqueria in NYC
Los Tacos No. 1 is our favorite taqueria in the city. My former students from Sonora, Mexico, Valeria and Evguenin, once told me before class that they had the best tacos since Mexico and then told us it was the taqueria at Chelsea Market.
The taqueria is very popular and has since opened Los Mariscos, a seafood taco area, also in Chelsea Market. Your lunch will be healthy, inexpensive and delicious. If you want seafood tacos and your traveling companion wants regular tacos, tell him to meet you in the seating area in Los Mariscos. If you want a beer or other alcoholic drink, buy it in Los Mariscos.
How Much Time Will I Need At Chelsea Market and What Else Is There To Do Around there?
We always bring friends and family to Chelsea Market when they’re visiting, and we always eat at the taqueria. You won’t need too much time at Chelsea Market, maybe about an hour, and you can exit through the 10th Avenue side for Highline Park, the abandoned elevated train that has been converted into a beautiful park above ground. I’ll have a post about Highline Park soon.
A word of warning: Chelsea Market gets very crowded on beautiful days, but I still highly recommend it.