Located on 9th Ave. between 15th and 16th St., Chelsea Market has been created in a building with a pretty famous history: the former National Biscuit Co. dating since 1890’s, and that operated until half a century ago. It might impress you more to know that this is where the first Oreo was created and manufactured – in addition to Fig Newtons, Saltines, Barnum animal crackers and Vanilla Wafers.
In an area that 15 years ago had almost no commercial appeal, almost no pedestrian traffic, was pretty desolate and left to the Hudson River winds, it was bought and reinvented by a visionary businessman in the 1990’s.
While the upper floors have been rented for company offices, the ground floor has been remodeled in such way that the original character of the building not only has been preserved as much as possible, but also enhanced by showcasing it’s character. The result is a an enchanting space that opened in 1997 as a gathering of specialty stores mostly food related, and although it evolved over the years it hasn’t changed much. The wholesale flower shop left and made way for an Anthropology store, a couple of other stores replaced by the others, some fantastic restaurants opened… all in all, evolving is not a bad thing.
There are bakeries where you’ll find bread or cookies, there’s a wine store, there’s a fish market and an Italian market, and much, much more. Wander around and be enchanted – by either the industrialist art so beautifully blended with the original building, or by the little pleasures you’ll find in any of the stores. There is a Jacques Torres counter, there’s a L’arte del Gelato counter, there are Fat Witch brownies or Eleni’s exquisite cookies.
The pictures were taken quite a while ago, but I hope they still show why I love Chelsea Market.