Related Print Resources
Combining archival material with technical prowess, Save Chelsea is proud to highlight a series of print resources that complement
our virtual tours and videos.
In Old New York, by Thomas Janvier (1894—reissued by Dover Books, 2015) is a charmingly and informatively illustrated book which includes a 40-page chapter, “Down Love Lane,” on “what was once Chelsea Village” and the urban neighborhood it became in the course of the nineteenth century. Among other insights, it describes “little wooden houses where-in dwelt folk of a humbler sort” which “lie hidden away in the centres of the blocks, and may be found only by burrowing through alleyways beneath the outer line of prim brick houses of a modern time”—an explanation of the passageways to back buildings which are still a particular characteristic of Chelsea.
Turn West on 23rd: A Toast to New York’s Old Chelsea, by Robert Baral (1965) is the only published book exclusively about Chelsea. This highly readable history is particularly strong on the Gilded-Age period when Chelsea was New York’s center for theater, music, and vice. The author was an entertainment-industry insider, and his enthusiasm for the cultural history behind his own milieu shows in the book’s lively focus on personalities, scandals, and stories. Used copies of this out-of-print title can be found at AbeBooks.com and other online sellers.
Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with Legends and Outlaws in New York’s Rebel Mecca, by Ed Hamilton (2007) tells the odd, funny, and often tragic truth of the writers, artists, and musicians—the famous and the obscure alike—who have lived in “the Chelsea.” Written by a longtime hotel resident, it offers a privileged glimpse inside Chelsea’s most celebrated address.
High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky, by Joshua David and Robert Hammond (2011) covers the creation of the elevated park that transformed West Chelsea and became a precedent for other linear parks around the world. Written by the park’s co-founders, it contains historic background information on the industrial past that still informs the neighborhood and defines much of its character.
New York’s New Edge: Contemporary Art, the High Line, and Urban Megaprojects on the Far West Side, by David Halle and Elisabeth Tiso (2014) dedicates its first chapter to Chelsea’s explosion into the art gallery capital of the world and its third chapter to studying the High Line from a largely urban-planning perspective.
A Guide to Historic New York City Neighborhoods: Chelsea, by the Historic Districts Council (2018) includes a brief neighborhood history and illustrated descriptions of nineteen historic sites from full-block giants like London Terrace and the Starrett-Lehigh Building to tiny treasures like the Empire Diner and West 18th Street stables. A map is also included.
The brochure can be downloaded at: https://tinyurl.com/hhc6toC18SaveChelsea