Say Up To Stovepipe Hats And Down to Jamestown

By Donathan Salkaln                                            

Buildings suddenly sprouting extra floors. We see them everywhere, all over town. It's ridiculous looking. Now developers want to build on top of the Landmark Chelsea Market. The renderings are hideous. It's like someone putting on those tall stovepipe hats that Abe wore. Except that stovepipe hats are fun and in keeping with the historic significance of the Landmark Chelsea Market. What Jamestown wants to build on top of the market is not fun at all. For the community it will bring another hotel, more people to an already choking area, and more office space we don't need.

When I moved to Chelsea in the late 1970's, the west part of the neighborhood was boarded up and desolate of everything but rats and homeless. I know. I ran my dog down there.

Developers have since come west by the wagon load, carving up our neighborhood like it’s some sort of gold rush. Empty warehouses, buildings and stores have since been filled with thousands of jobs, the HighLine and our showcase park with thousands of tourists, and new highrises with thousands of new residents. Developers even wrestled from us our hospital, St. Vincent’s.

Developers have sapped our land dry and they’ve sapped our zoning changes dry. So what do they do? They  get zoning laws changed and start building upwards.

We fought the 'add-ups' at the 20th Street Seminary, we’re fighting and extra floor at the site of the landmarked Underground Railroad on 29th street, and now were fighting the Jamestown proposal to build a monstrosity upon the landmarked Chelsea Market at 15th street.

What’s next for developers. All that open sunshine and quietude of the Fulton Housing, Chelsea-Elliot Housing or Penn South? The rest of the neighborhood has become absolute chaos.

Our community has to got to come together as a whole and tell these developers that Enough is Enough! Say  Yes to stovepipe hats!  Say No To Jamestown!

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Chelsea Reform Democratic Club
PO Box 1120,
Old Chelsea Station,
New York, NY, 10113-1120