In a relatively sparsely-attended ForgottenTour, 15 ForgottenFans gathered at the William Seward statue in Madison Square and headed west into the heart of Chelsea.
In the mid-18th Century, Captain Thomas Clarke acquired much of the acreage west of where 8th Avenue would be laid out from about West 20th to 28th Streets and named it after London’s Chelsea Royal hospital. Inheriting and adding to the property in 1813, Clarke’s great grandson, Clement Clarke Moore developed lots in the neighborhood as streets were surveyed and laid out. He went so far as to dictate building styles and materials to the upper middle-class buyers of his lots. As with other sections of town flanking the Hudson, shipping and trade – in this case, lumber and breweries, inexorably swallowed the western edges, reaching Moore’s carefully conceived corner.
We visited many of Moore’s old haunts or what replaced them, as well as some of the original buildings still standing when the area was developed in the 1830s by Moore and James Wells. Preceding that was a trip down West 23rd Street, where we marveled at the Flatiron Building, Western Union Building, Stern Brothers Department Store, Masonic Hall, and the Chelsea Hotel.
Wrapping it up we lunched at the Chelsea Square Diner at 9th Avenue and West 23rd Street.