7. The Chelsea Market Site is Actually a Combination of Almost 20 Buildings
Before Nabisco, the company was the National Biscuit Company, itself a combination of twenty baking companies. In 1893, the biscuit company built a Romanesque Revival style building – the Landmarks Preservation Commission report for the Gansevoort Historic District refers to it as “stables.” By 1898, the National Biscuit Company merged with the American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company, from Chicago. They conglomerate became the largest supplier of biscuits in America. The stables expanded into quite the structure, 17 buildings in combination – most built between 1905 and 1912.
In the construction of one of the buildings in 1913, between 10th and 11th Avenue (home to Del Posto), the anchor, timbers and chain of a two-masted schooner were discovered during excavation, reports The New York Times.
After the Nabisco factory jumped ship and headed for suburbia in the 1950s, the not-yet-Chelsea Market lay empty until 1997. During this time, the market became notoriously dangerous. It is said that it was a hotspot for prostitution and there were three murders in its basement.
The buildings were purchased by Irwin Cohen in 1997, and since then it has become a glittering shopping center in the midst of a neighborhood that has seen a 38% decrease in crime since the onset of the 21st century.