Chelsea is an exciting and eclectic combination of people and buildings. It is a neighborhood that symbolizes what New York is all about: a constant moving energy, a mix of old and new, art and fashion, high and lowâ€¦
To the east, Chelsea is more residential, with some of the most sought-after high rises, lofts, and townhouses in New York City and to the west where warehouses near the Hudson River host hundreds of world-renowned art galleries, a new neighborhood is slowly emerging: the High Line Area.
Spanning from The Meatpacking District, West Village, and West Chelsea to the Southern part of Hellâ€™s Kitchen a new neighborhood is slowly taking shape: The High Line Neighborhood. This is the area surrounding the High Line, the 1.45 mile long freight train tracks originally constructed in the 1930-s, running 22 blocks from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. Former slaughterhouses, gas stations and hang outs for drug dealers and transsexual prostitute are today host to some of the cityâ€™s coolest boutiques, hippest restaurants and most exclusive clubs and hotels.
Friends of the High Line have been advocating to save the High Line since 1999 when the Giuliani administration was seeking to have the 70-year-old viaduct demolished. Today over 2,000,000 people have visited Section 1 (from Gansevoort to 20th Street) of the elevated park since the opening in June 2009. Section 2, which extends from 20th to 30th Street, is under construction and is expected to open during spring 2011.
Since the mid-1990s, Chelsea became a center of the New York art scene. As art galleries were priced out of Soho, the old industrial lofts of West Chelsea turned into perfect art galleries and lofts. From 16th Street to 27th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, there are somewhere between 350 to 400 art galleries. A rezoning was designed to protect the West Chelsea Arts district and allow for the development of world class architecture on its periphery.The West Chelsea/High Line Rezoning Plan by the City of New Yorkâ€™s Department of Planning paired with the opening of the High Line park, has led to a construction boom that might be unrivaled in terms of the instant creation of super-expensive real estate and spurred the development of over 1,000 residential units and 2 million square feet of commercial space.
Today the neighborhood is being lined with architectural wonders by â€œStarchitectsâ€ like Richard Meier, Neil Denari, Linda Roy, Gary Handel, Audrey Matlock, Enrique Norten and Robert A.M. Stern. Frank Gehryâ€™s IAC building, Shigeru Banâ€™s Metal Shutter Houses, Annabelle Selldorfâ€™s 100 11th Avenue, and Jean Nouvelâ€™s 200 Eleventh Avenue are among the new structures redefining the skyline.