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The Insider's Connection

Richard Upjohn

Chelsea’s Limelight Building–the Church? the Nightclub? the Gym?

 The northeast corner of 6th Avenue and West 20th has looked nearly the same since 1844. The building’s facade, a striking asymmetrical church, was designed by Richard Upjohn when the neighborhood was home to Manhattan’s wealthiest families. Though its Gothic revival-style exterior has hardly changed in 175 years, the stories of this Chelsea corner reveal the city’s secrets and its tendency to keep changing. On this corner 150 years ago, you’d run into Cornelius Vanderbilt or John Jacob Astor coming out of the Church of the Holy Communion, the original congregation here. On this corner 30 years ago, there’d be thousands of Club Kids in lines around the block, and you might catch a glimpse of 50 Cent, Cyndi Lauper, or the Beastie Boys getting ready to perform. On this corner today, who do you see? What story are you…

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August 19, 2019

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