The ground floor of 53-61 Gansevoort Street has been scrubbed over and boutique-ized like so much of the rest of the Meatpacking District.
So it’s a treat to see that the three-story faded ad on the side of the building is still mostly legible. “Clam Chowder Clam Bouillon” reads the letters across the top floor. The next ad is too difficult to make out, but the second-story one is “New England Biscuit Works.”
The company was an early tenant of the building, constructed on this triangular spot in 1887. At that time the Meatpacking District was known as Gansevoort Market, the city’s designated spot for open-air meat and vegetable markets.
Something about 53 Gansevoort Street caught photographer Berenice Abbott’s eye in 1936, prompting her to take this picture of the building.
Though the ads appear to be different, the street scene, with men unloading trucks, looks the way the daytime Meatpacking District did up until the late 1990s—when the neighborhoof was still made up of, well, meatpackers.