Chelsea takes its name from a Federal-style house of retired British Major Thomas Clarke, who named his home after the manor of Chelsea, London, which was home to Sir Thomas More. Clarke's house was inherited by his daughter Charity and her husband Benjamin Moore, and was the birthplace of writer Clement Clarke Moore, credited with writing "A Visit From St. Nicholas" and author of the first Greek and Hebrew lexicons printed in the United States.
By 1900, the neighborhood was solidly Irish and housed the longshoremen who unloaded freighters at warehouse piers that lined the nearby waterfront and the truck terminals integrated with the raised freight railroad spur. The film On the Waterfront (1954) recreates this tough world, dramatized in Richard Rodgers' 1936 jazz ballet Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.
Chelsea was an early center for the motion picture industry before World War I. Some of Mary Pickford's first pictures were made on the top floors of an armory building on West 26th St. In the late 19th century West 23rd St. was the center of American theater.
In the early 1940s tons of Uranium for the Manhattan Project were stored in the Baker & Williams Warehouse at 513-519 West 20th St. The uranium was only removed and decontaminated in the late 1980s/early 1990s.Most recently, Chelsea has become an alternative shopping destination with Barneys CO-OP - which replaced the much larger original Barneys flagship store - Comme des Garçons, and Balenciaga boutiques, as well as being near Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Christian Louboutin. Chelsea Market, on the ground floor of the former NABISCOBuilding, is a destination for food lovers.
As New York's visual arts community moved from SoHo to West Chelsea in the 1990s, the area bounded by 10th and 11th Avenue and 18th St. and 28th St. has become one of the global centers of modern contemporary art. The West Chelsea Arts District is home to over 370 art galleries and innumerable artist studios. The area is also home to the modern dance company CedarLakes, who perform in their theater in the West Chelsea Arts district.
LocalParks and Entertainment
CHELSEA PIERS West 23rd Street and the Hudson River
CHELSEA PARK West 28th Street between 9th Avenue and 10th Avenue
CHELSEAWATERSLIDEPARK West 24th Street between 11th Ave and 12th Ave
CHELSEA MARKET 9th Avenue between West 15th and West 16th St
GAGOSIAN GALLERY West 24th Street between 10th Ave and 11th Ave
GANSEVOORT West 13th Street and 9th Avenue
MATSURI 363 W. 16th Street at Ninth Ave
ROCKING HORSE 182 Eighth Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets
PASTIS West 12th Street and 9th Avenue
VENTO West 14th Street between Hudson Street and 9th Avenue
SPICE MARKET West 13th Street and 9th Avenue
GRAND SICHUAN INTERNATIONAL 229 9th Ave and 24th Street
‘WICHCRAFT 224 12th Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets
CAFETERIA 119 Seventh Avenue and 17th Street
MANHATTAN MALL 6th Avenue and 33rd Street
ANNEX ANTIQUES FAIR AND FLEA MARKET Sixth Ave. near 25th St
B&H 420 Ninth Ave. at 34th St.
BARNEY’S CO-OP 236 W. 18th St. near Seventh Ave
CHELSEA ANTIQUES BUILDING 110 W. 25th St near Sixth Ave
DIA CENTER FOR THE ARTS BOOKSTORE 548 W. 22nd St. near Eleventh Avenue
GAIL CHISHOLM GALLERY 56 West 22nd St., second floor near Sixth Ave
JAZZ RECORD CENTER 236 W. 26th St. near Seventh Ave. room 804
CHELSEA FLOWER MARKET 75 Ninth Ave. at 15th St
DAN’S CHELSEA GUITARS 220 W. 23rd St. near Seventh Ave
GIRLSHOP 819 Washington Street
JEFFREY NEW YORK449 West 14th St
PAUL SMITH 108 Fifth Ave
INTERMIX 125 Fifth Ave
DESTINATION 32-36 Little West 12th Street
EXPRESS DESIGN STUDIO 114 5th Ave
FILENE’S BASEMENT DEPARTMENT STORE 620 Avenue of the Americas
TJ MAXX DEPARTMENT STORE 620 Avenue of the Americas
BED BATH AND BEYOND 620 Avenue of the Americas
LOCAL HEALTH CLUBS
NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB 50 West 34th Street and 6th Avenue
34 West 14th Street and 5th Avenue
128 Eighth Avenue and 16th Street
270 Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street
EQUINOX 17th Street and 10th Avenue
BALLY TOTAL FITNESS 139 West 32nd Street
641 Avenue of the Americas and 19th Street
NEW YORK HEALTH AND RACQUET CLUB 60 West 23rd Street