With New York being a vibrant and bustling city, with so many interesting areas, it was going to be hard to look into an area to initially base my project on stories of people and objects.
Visiting New York earlier in the year, I really found the area of Chelsea interesting. I loved the cobbled streets, the frozen Hudson river and the quietness compared to central Manhattan. Researching further into the area allowed me to learn about its huge art scene, with many galleries (around 300!) paving the streets and The High Line, a disused rail track turned into a public space. I was also intrigued to learn more about The Hudson River, and the part it plays in New York History and how it relates to Chelsea and the Stories theme. Chelsea is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in New York City, as it was founded in 1750 by Thomas Clarke who had come across from England, and named the area after Chelsea in London. It was an industrial area and many different types of people have walked through its doors.
I discovered that the Chelsea Piers, which creep into the Hudson, used to be the first point of call for many immigrants coming to New York (before registration on Ellis Island), in addition to being a port for huge ships coming in across the atlantic. The ill-fated Titanic was scheduled to dock at the Chelsea Piers on 16th April 1912- the conclusion of it’s maiden voyage. Sadly, this was never to happen, although the 675 passengers saved from the sinking ship did make it on the 20th April.
After decades of service, the piers were no longer needed for transatlantic shipping, and fell into disrepair and were scheduled for demolition. Although some were saved and now mainly harbour a sporting complex and park.
There was also a 13th Avenue in New York, a little known fact, but it was demolished for the building of the piers. A secret part of New York history.
I’m also quite intrigued to learn more about The Hudson River, and the secrets that it withholds and what lies under its water.
The stories of the people and events that happened around this area and it’s location within a less eclectic part of New York could make for a fascinating area in which to base my building and uncover the local secrets.
In terms of the drawing, I want to try and incorporate some of the stories and historical events into it