Chelsea Market Skybridge (traverse). Chelsea, New York City.
It’s no secret that I am slightly obsessed with skybridges. Known as skyways, traverses, footbridges, air spaces and a host of other terms, the few ornate ones that still exist in New York City inhabit a special place in my heart. There is something about them that seems to recall the early days of the 20th century when New York City was a bustling metropolis steeped in the machine age coping with rapid expansion. I imagine giddy titans of industry dreaming up ways to increase efficiency while sitting around large tables with up and coming architects. I know my thoughts of how these bridges came into being is largely a product of watching far too many movies from the early to mid 20th century though. The reality of the decisions to build these structures was probably far less dramatic.
The bridge currently connects the building that houses the cavernous Chelsea Market and a building that sits across the way. It originally connected the Nabisco factory and its neighboring office building. The Nabisco bakery, office building and, skybridge as well as the elevated railroad (the High Line) were built between 1890 and the mid 1930s. Some interesting trivia about the original Nabisco factory: in 1912, the Oreo Cookie was first baked here. While Nabisco left the buildings in the mid to late 1950s, all of the structures including the skybridge and the High Line were left intact. *
Source: National Register of Historic Places - Gansevoort Market Historic District
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