The present Chelsea Market block is a collection of 18 separate buildings, totalling about a million square feet of space and was the former factory and offices of the National Biscuit Company (later known as Nabisco).

The earliest buildings date from the 1890's, with massive bearing brick walls and brick arch supported floors. Subsequent development around 1910 progressed to larger 6-story cast iron and heavy cedar timber warehouses, flanking a central rail yard on the north and south.Within the gallery space you will be able to see examples of the huge wooden and metal columns, and as you enter, the fat stone walls and floors of the old bakery.

The bakery complex covered most of the block back to Ninth Avenue. In 1913, the architect designed the most prominent building in the complex, the 11-story full-block structure from 10th to 11th Avenue and 15th to 16th Street. It was built on landfill - the timbers, chain and anchor of a two-masted schooner were found during excavation.

National Biscuit filed plans in 1926 for what would have been the centerpiece of its empire, a $3 million, 16-story bakery on the full block from 14th to 15th Street and 10th to 11th Avenue - but that project sadly never went ahead.

It is with great gastronomical pleasure that I am presenting the show in a place where for decades the smell of fresh-cooked biscuits welcomed every visitor, and, thanks to the myriad cookie, brownie and chocolate shops, still does today.

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