Friday, December 7, 2007

Trump Chelsea?

They've been digging like crazy at the big lot on the northwest corner of 16th and 8th. The lot's been empty for a while and I've long been wondering what was going in. I've asked a few different people and received the following answers:

1. Construction worker on the scene: It's a 16-story residential building
2. Guy in a Sweet Construction cap on the scene: It's a 7-story residential building
3. Neighborhood cop: It's a Trump tower!

And the winner is...

image from Sweet Construction

I have to admit, a small, bitter part of me was hoping for a Trump, just so I could get righteously enraged, but then I remembered that this building is enraging enough, replacing as it did over half a block of small businesses and old low-rises, including a few early-19th century walkups and a single-story that was home to the Cajun.

lost blocks can still be found on Google Maps

Opened in 1978, the Cajun featured Louisiana cuisine and live ragtime jazz from bands with names like Stanley's Washboard Kings and Johnny Tupelo & The Sidekicks. Like the still-shuttered Helen's and other places, cabaret is dead and dying in Chelsea.

But that's okay because everyone loves another brick-and-glass behemoth, just like The Grand Chelsea across the avenue, which the Times called "uninspired" and like "two boxes stuck together." We need more yunnies and more chain stores. Best of all, according to one of the old block's ousted occupants, the anchor tenant will be a bank.

I guess we should count our blessings it's not a Trump.

Another shot courtesy of Romy Ashby


Rambler said...

I used to live on 19th and 8th. How depressing. Of course, at the time I lived in a hideous new building..I know, Rambler you're part of the problem. Cut me a break, I just moved back from LA and grabbed the first place I could find. When they eanted to raise my rent more than $200 after one year, i split for the vally--manhattan vally

Anonymous said...

everything about the valley is great except for the new class of people daring to venture over to amsterdam for the new pseudo upscale Thai Market (bad food small portions big price, owners very not from the neighborhood) and $11 burritos at Blockheads. They look at the rest of us like animals in a zoo..then take over the turf field at 107th for their brats to play soccer. At least you can still get a damn good roasted chicken at Caridad and the soon-to-be-reopened Embajada. But the neigbohood is in the pincers of lux development - high rises shooting up at 110 and columbus, all across 100 and the usual from the east and west (end avenue). so get em while theyre still cheap.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah, you forgot to mention that after the tenants were kicked out of the old buildings, most of the demolition was done by a suspicious fire. Yeah.

I work in the Port Authority Terminal Number 1 building across 15th Avenue from the construction site; I've been tracking the situation with some interest. And I miss the Cajun, dammit!

Don't hate on Thai Market, though -- David Bank is a real New Yorker, running successful independent businesses.

luluinnyc said...

Thanks for sharing this. Chelsea has changed so much. There used to be a really cool bit of graffiti on the side of the corner building as well: