National Biscuit Company/ Chelsea Market
75 Ninth Avenue
Multiple architects, 1883 to 1934; Tenth Avenue frontage, 1932-34, Louis Wirsching, Jr.
This full-block complex, birthplace of the Oreo, was built in several phases over a number of decades. The oldest section was erected in the 1880’s for brewer Thomas McMullen. The rest of the block was developed in the following decades by the newly formed New York Biscuit Company. The baking industry experienced massive consolidation in the 1890’s, culminating in the merger of the New York firm with the American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company and the Chicago-based United State Baking Company in 1898. The resulting conglomerate, named the National Biscuit Company, officially established headquarters in its New York City complex in 1906. By 1920, the firm occupied all or parts of five city blocks on Manhattan’s west side. This location was perfectly suited for manufacturing purposes. A railroad spur was routed through the complex in 1904. When the High Line arrived in the 1930’s, the entire Tenth Avenue facade was redesigned to accommodate the elevated tracks. The company changed its name to Nabisco in 1941, and in 1956 divested its Chelsea factories during the deindustrialization of Manhattan. The building is an Individual Landmark and listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.