La Nacional, the Spanish Benevolent Society in Chelsea, NYC, is a Spanish social club founded in 1868.
La Nacional is a Spanish community center
La Nacional was founded to support the community of immigrants from Spain in New York City. It was the place you went when you had a problem, when you needed work, or when you just wanted to socialize with people from your country. It would have been one of the first places you went when you got off the boat from Spain.
Today La Nacional is the last surviving remnant of New York City’s “Little Spain” which once filled 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Ships from Spain used to dock at 11th Street twice a month. Most of New York City’s Spanish community once lived along the Hudson River between Christopher St and 23rd St. “Spanish Harlem” was Cuban and Puerto Rican.
Little Spain began to decline when the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 made it harder for Europeans to migrate to the U.S.
The La Nacional Restaurant in the basement is currently under renovation. It will reopen in 2017 as a restaurant that brings promising young chefs directly from Spain.
Events at La Nacional
On Thursday nights La Nacional is the home of Tango La Nacional. It is the New York City milonga that gets as close to Buenos Aires as you can get in New York.
Visit La Nacional
239 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011
(between Seventh & Eighth Ave)
(A) (C) (E) or (L) to 14th Street – 8 Ave
(1) (2) (3) to 14th St
For more information, visit www.LaNacional.org