Paddy's Market Historic District
Clinton Housing Development Company (CHDC), a not-for-profit community-based organization dedicated to building and preserving affordable housing in Clinton/Hell's Kitchen, proposed to nominate Paddy's Market, a stretch of Ninth Avenue that was once one of the best-known pushcart markets in Manhattan, to be listed as a historic district on the State and National Register of Historic Places in 2020-2021. The National Park Service designated the District in April 2022. The Historic District includes nine block fronts on either side of Ninth Avenue between West 35th and West 40th Streets and portions of surrounding blocks.
Paddy's Market was originally established around 1885 by Irish and German immigrant pushcart peddlers who lined the avenue with their wares. The market was a central feature of the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, supported and operated by those living in neighboring tenements, but also a destination within the greater New York City region. It lasted until 1938, when the city abolished the market in an effort to ease traffic congestion related to the newly constructed Lincoln Tunnel. In the decades after the market was closed, the name "Paddy's Market" came to refer to the stretch of international food stores and restaurants along Ninth Avenue in the area of the former market. Several legacy stores purveying food to the Clinton/Hell's Kitchen community remain to this day.
The District boundaries are inclusive of the Ninth Avenue corridor, primarily on the east side of the Avenue but also on the west side, as well as the intact collection of extant tenements and other buildings on the side streets, which are associated with the history of Paddy's Market.
The District includes nearly 80 buildings, most of them mid-to-late nineteenth-century pre-law or old-law tenements. In many cases, their storefronts remain intact, even as they continue to house food stores and restaurants.
A presentation was given in December 2020 to Manhattan Community Board 4, that meeting recording on YouTube can be accessed at: shorturl.at/sAIQX. At the public meetings on October 27th and November 17th, 2021, presentations were made by CHDC in partnership with Manhattan Community Board 4 and the Hudson Yards Hell's Kitchen Business Improvement District on the history of the district, the boundaries, and the various benefits related to being listed on the National Register.
On February 10th, 2022, CHDC and the New York State Historic Preservation Office hosted another public meeting to answer questions. The historic district will be considered by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation at its next meeting, March 10, 2022, for nomination to the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The District was designated by the National Park Service on April 28, 2022.
What is the National Register?
Established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is the official list of historic properties that have been recognized as significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture. The Division for Historic Preservation of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (also known as the State Historic Preservation Office or SHPO) coordinates the National Register program in New York State as well as the parallel State Register program.
Properties can be listed in the National Register as individual buildings/structures or as historic districts. Districts are groupings of properties such as residential neighborhoods, commercial downtowns, and industrial complexes. District boundaries are drawn based on a number of factors, most importantly the history of the neighborhood and the historic integrity" (how intact the historic appearance is) of the buildings within the proposed boundaries.
Historic District Benefits
Tax Incentives: Historic Preservation Tax Credits
Access to New York City, State and Federal Grants & Loans
Identity & Branding for Economic Development
Does this mean I won't be able to make changes to my building?
Answer: National Register Historic Districts (NR) do not restrict what private property owners can do with their properties. In fact, as long as no state or federal funds or permits are being used, a property owner can alter or demolish a building listed on the National Register. National Register listing does not trigger local New York City Landmark designation.
However, listing on the NR does make privately owned properties eligible for federal and state Historic Preservation Tax Credits and/or below market loans for renovation. Properties owned by non-profits or municipalities can be eligible for grants. It also creates formal identity and branding for economic development.
For answers to frequently asked questions to owning a contributing property in a National Register historic district, visit this link: https://parks.ny.gov/documents/shpo/NRFrequentlyAskedQuestions.pdf