New York City Landmark No. 0215
|Location||222 West 23rd Street|
Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City
|Architect||Hubert, Pirsson and Company|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne Revival, Victorian Gothic|
|NRHP reference No.||77000958|
|Added to NRHP||December 27, 1977|
|Designated NYCL||March 15, 1966|
The Hotel Chelsea – also called the Chelsea Hotel, or simply the Chelsea – is a hotel in Manhattan, New York City, built between 1883 and 1885. The 250-unit hotel is located at 222 West 23rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, in the neighborhood of Chelsea.
It has been the home of numerous writers, musicians, artists and actors. Though the Chelsea no longer accepts new long-term residents, the building is still home to many who lived there before the change in policy. Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while staying at the Chelsea, and poets Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso chose it as a place for philosophical and artistic exchange. It is also known as the place where the writer Dylan Thomas was staying in room 205 when he became ill and died several days later, in a local hospital, of pneumonia on November 9, 1953, and where Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found stabbed to death on October 12, 1978. Arthur Miller wrote a short piece, "The Chelsea Affect", describing life at the Chelsea Hotel in the early 1960s.
Built between 1884 and 1885 and opened for initial occupation in 1884, the twelve-story red-brick building that is now the Hotel Chelsea was one of the city's first private apartment cooperatives. It was designed by Philip Hubert of the firm of Hubert, Pirrson & Company in a style that has been described variously as Queen Anne Revival and Victorian Gothic. Among its distinctive features are the delicate, flower-ornamented iron balconies on its facade, which were constructed by J.B. and J.M. Cornell and its grand staircase, which extends upward twelve floors. Generally, this staircase is only accessible to registered guests, although the hotel does offer monthly tours to others. At the time of its construction, the building was the tallest in New York.
Hubert and Pirsson had created a "Hubert Home Club" in 1880 for "The Rembrandt," a six-story building on West 57th Street intended as housing for artists. This early cooperative building had rental units to help defray costs, and also provided servants as part of the building staff. The success of this model led to other "Hubert Home Clubs," and the Chelsea was one of them. Initially successful, its surrounding neighborhood constituted the center of New York's theater district. However, within a few years the combination of economic stresses, the suspicions of New York's middle class about apartment living, the opening up of Upper Manhattan and the plentiful supply of houses there, and the relocation of the city's theater district bankrupted the Chelsea.
The building reopened as a hotel in 1905, which was later managed by Knott Hotels and resident manager A. R. Walty. After the hotel went bankrupt, it was purchased in 1939 by Joseph Gross, Julius Krauss, and David Bard, and these partners managed the hotel together until the early 1970s. Stanley Bard, David Bard's son, became manager after Gross and Krauss' deaths.
On June 18, 2007, the hotel's board of directors ousted Bard as the hotel's manager. Dr. Marlene Krauss, the daughter of Julius Krauss, and David Elder, the grandson of Joseph Gross and the son of playwright and screenwriter Lonne Elder III, replaced Stanley Bard with the management company BD Hotels NY; that firm has since been terminated as well.
The hotel was sold to real estate developer Joseph Chetrit for $80 million in 2011 and stopped taking reservations for new guests, to begin renovations. Long-time residents were allowed to remain in the building, some of them protected by state rent regulations. The renovations prompted complaints to the city by the remaining tenants of health hazards caused by the construction. The city's Building Department investigated these complaints and found no major violations. In November 2011, the management ordered all of the hotel's many artworks taken off the walls, supposedly for their protection and cataloging, a move which some tenants interpreted as a step towards forcing them out as well. In 2013, Ed Scheetz became the Chelsea Hotel's new owner after buying back five properties from Chetrit and David Bistricer.
Located in the Chelsea since 1930 is the restaurant El Quijote which was owned by the same family until 2017 when it was sold to the new owner of the hotel. In late March 2018 the eatery also closed for renovations.
During its lifetime Hotel Chelsea has provided a home to many famous writers and thinkers including Mark Twain, O. Henry, Herbert Huncke, Dylan Thomas, Arthur C. Clarke, Sam Shepard, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Jack Kerouac, Brendan Behan, Thomas Wolfe, Valerie Solanas, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Quentin Crisp,  Gregory Corso, Arnold Weinstein, and Catherine Leroy.
Charles R. Jackson, author of The Lost Weekend, died by suicide in his room on September 21, 1968. Joseph O'Neill and his wife moved there in 1998, and they raised three sons there; the Chelsea Hotel plays a significant role in his novel Netherland.
Actors and film directors
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The hotel has been a home to actors, film directors, and comedians such as Stanley Kubrick, Shirley Clarke, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Hill, Miloš Forman, Lillie Langtry, Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Squat Theatre Company, Eddie Izzard, Uma Thurman, Elliott Gould, Elaine Stritch, Michael Imperioli, Jane Fonda, Russell Brand, the Warhol film star Viva and her daughter Gaby Hoffmann, and Edie Sedgwick.
Much of the Hotel Chelsea's history has been colored by the musicians who have resided there. Some of the most prominent names include Chet Baker, Grateful Dead, Nico, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, Virgil Thomson, Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, Chick Corea, Alexander Frey, Dee Dee Ramone, Alice Cooper, Édith Piaf, Johnny Thunders, Mink DeVille, Alejandro Escovedo, Marianne Faithfull, Cher, John Cale, Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, Bette Midler, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat, J.D. Stooks,  Jacques Labouchere, Sid Vicious, Richard Barone, Lance Loud and Rufus Wainwright.
Madonna lived at the Chelsea in the early 1980s, returning in 1992 to shoot photographs for her book, Sex, in room 822. Leonard Cohen, who lived in room 424, and Janis Joplin, in room 411, had an affair there in 1968, and Cohen later wrote two songs about it, "Chelsea Hotel" and "Chelsea Hotel #2". Jobriath spent his last years in the pyramid-topped apartment on the Chelsea's rooftop where he died of complications due to AIDS in August 1983. The Kills wrote much of their album No Wow at the Chelsea presumably between the years 2003 to 2005. Jorma Kaukonen wrote the song "Third Week in the Chelsea" for Jefferson Airplane's 1971 album Bark after spending three weeks living in the Chelsea.
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The hotel has featured and collected the work of the many visual artists who have passed through. Frank Bowling, Doris Chase, Bernard Childs, Claudio Edinger, Brett Whiteley, Ching Ho Cheng, Larry Rivers and from 1961 to 1970 several of his French nouveau réalistes friends like Yves Klein (who wrote his Manifeste de l'hôtel Chelsea there in April 1961), Arman, Martial Raysse, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, Christo, Daniel Spoerri or Alain Jacquet (who left a version of his Déjeuner sur l'herbe from 1964 in the hotel lobby featuring other pieces by Larry Rivers or Arman), Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel, Joe Andoe, David Remfry, Diego Rivera, Robert Crumb, Ellen Cantor, Jasper Johns, Tom Wesselmann, Claes Oldenburg, Herbert Gentry, Willem de Kooning, Robert Mapplethorpe (room 1017, with Patti Smith), Michele Zalopany. The Australian Vali Myers moved into the hotel in 1971 and remained there for 43 years.
Moses Soyer (who died there in 1974), Nora Sumberg, and Henri Cartier-Bresson have all spent time at the hotel. Experimental filmmaker and ethnomusicologist Harry Smith lived and died in Room 328. The painter Alphaeus Philemon Cole lived there for 35 years until his death in 1988, aged 112, at which point he was the oldest verified man alive. The sculptor René Shapshak and his wife lived here; his bust of Harry Truman and reliefs were in the lobby.
Charles James, credited with being America's first couturier who influenced fashion in the 1940s and 1950s, moved into the Chelsea in 1964. He died there of pneumonia in 1978. When Billy Reid started his brand in 1998, it was a one-man operation; he lived in the Garment District, while a room at the Chelsea served as an office, studio and showroom.
Several survivors of the Titanic stayed for some time in this hotel as it is a short distance from Pier 54, the White Star Line dock where the Titanic was supposed to dock. The Chelsea was also home to many sailors returning from their duties in World War I.
In popular culture
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Films and television
The hotel has been featured in:
- Chelsea Girls (1966), by Andy Warhol, was shot at the Chelsea.
- Portrait of Jason (1967), by Shirley Clarke, was shot at the Chelsea.
- An American Family (1973, PBS) – an episode of the pioneering reality TV series was mostly filmed at the Chelsea.
- Arena (1981) – the popular BBC arts documentary series featured an episode, "Chelsea Hotel".
- Sid and Nancy (1986), by Alex Cox.
- 9½ Weeks (1986) Director Adrian Lyne shot a scene on location, where Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger have a sex date with a prostitute involved.
- Some scenes in Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)—which, like Sid and Nancy, stars Gary Oldman—were filmed and are set in the Chelsea.
- Part of Léon: The Professional (1994), by Luc Besson, was shot there, although it was set in an apartment block.
- Midnight in Chelsea (1997), directed by Mark Pellington, a video to a track from the 1997 Jon Bon Jovi solo album Destination Anywhere.
- Chelsea Walls (2001), directed by Ethan Hawke, a movie about a new generation of artists living at the hotel.
- Chelsea on the Rocks (2008), a documentary film directed by Abel Ferrara.
- Hotel Chelsea (2009), a horror film about a Japanese couple staying at the hotel.
The hotel is featured in many songs, including:
- "Sara" by Bob Dylan
- "Chelsea Morning" by Joni Mitchell
- "Chelsea Hotel #2" by Leonard Cohen, later covered by various artists
- "Midnight in Chelsea" by Bon Jovi
- "Chelsea Hotel '78" by Alejandro Escovedo
- "Chelsea Girl" by Nico
- "Hotel Chelsea Nights" by Ryan Adams
- "Dear Abbey" by Kinky Friedman
- "Like a Drug I Never Did Before" by Joey Ramone[dead link]
- "The Chelsea Hotel" by Graham Nash
- "Third Week in the Chelsea" by Jefferson Airplane
- "Chelsea Hotel" on Meshell Ndegeocello's 2011 album Weather
- "Chelsea" by Phoebe Bridgers on her 2017 album Stranger in the Alps
- Davis, Fiona (2019). The Chelsea Girls. Dutton. ISBN 978-1-5247-4458-8.
- Hamilton, Ed (2007). Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws at New York's Rebel Mecca. ISBN 978-1-56858-379-2.
- Lough, James. This Ain't No Holiday Inn: Down and Out at the Chelsea Hotel 1980–1995. ISBN 1-936182-52-1.
- O'Neill, Joseph (2008). Netherland. ISBN 978-0-00-727570-0.
- Ramone, Dee Dee (2001). Chelsea Horror Hotel: A Novel. ISBN 1-56025-304-5.
- Rips, Nicolaia (2016). Trying to Float: Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel. ISBN 978-1-5011-3298-8.
- Smith, Patti (2010). Just Kids. Ecco. ISBN 978-0-06-621131-2.
- Tippins, Sherill (2013). Inside the Dream Palace: the Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-9561-1.
- Turner, Florence (1987). At the Chelsea. ISBN 978-0-15-109780-7.
- Wielaert, Jeroen (2002). Chelsea Hotel, een Biografie van een Hotel (in Dutch). ISBN 90-76927-02-2.
- Edinger, Claudio (1983). Chelsea Hotel, photobook by Claudio Edinger and texts by Arthur C. Clark and William Burroughs. ISBN 0-89659-338-X.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
- Regier, Hilda. "Chelsea Hotel" in Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300055366., p.210
- "Famous residents of the Chelsea Hotel", The Telegraph (London), August 2, 2011
- "The 10 best Chelsea hotel moments" by Hermione Hoby, The Guardian, December 19, 2010
- Miller, Arthur, "The Chelsea Affect", Granta #78: "Bad Company", Summer 2002
- New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009). Postal, Matthew A. (ed.). Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1., p. 70
- Gobrecht, Lawrence E. (April 20, 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Hotel Chelsea". Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2010. and Accompanying three photos, exterior, from 1977 Archived October 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000). AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5., p. 181
- Nevius, Michelle & Nevius, James (2009), Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City, New York: Free Press, ISBN 141658997X p. 151
- Rich, Nathaniel (October 8, 2013). "Where The Walls Still Talk". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
- Gray, Christopher (August 15, 2004). "STREETSCAPES/Philip Gengembre Hubert; The 19th-Century Innovator Who Invented the Co-op". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- Federal Writers' Project (1939). "New York City Guide". New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-60354-055-1. (Reprinted by Scholarly Press, 1976; often referred to as WPA Guide to New York City.), p.153
- "Stanley Bard, Former Owner and Manager of The Chelsea Hotel, Dies at 82" by Ed Hamilton, chelseahotelblog.com, February 14, 2017
- Carmin, Craig (May 16, 2011). "Hotel Chelsea's New Proprietor". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Buckley, Cara (July 31, 2011). "A Last Night Among the Spirits at the Chelsea Hotel". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
- Rovzar, Chris (July 27, 2011). "Hotel Chelsea No Longer Taking Reservations". New York. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- Kilgannon, Corey (November 4, 2011). "City Room: First, No More Guests; Now, Chelsea Hotel Says No More Art". The New York Times.
- Prendergast, Daniel; Connor, Tracy (October 22, 2011). "Chelsea Hotel demolition sparks Buildings Dept. probe after complaints from furious residents". New York Daily News.
- "DOB finds no major violations in Hotel Chelsea renovation" The Real Deal (October 27, 2011)
- "A New View at Chelsea Hotel" The Wall Street Journal (August 27, 2013)
- The Real Deal: "King & Grove reneges on Hotel Chelsea eviction vow: Tenants" September 17, 2013
- Barron, James (March 29, 2018). "At El Quijote, One Last Helping of Charm, Kitsch and Memories". The New York Times.
- Chamberlain, Lisa (June 19, 2007). "Change at the Chelsea, Shelter of the Arts". The New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
For six decades the Bard family has managed the Hotel Chelsea, overseeing a bohemian enclave that has been a long-term home for writers, artists and musicians including Mark Twain, O. Henry, Tennessee Williams, Dylan Thomas, Andy Warhol, and Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.
- "Hotel Chelsea, New York City, is a legend amongst past hotels and apartments", notableabodes.com
- "10 great places to get on the road and feel the Beat", USA Today, March 10, 2006. Accessed December 16, 2007. "On the West Side, Kerouac and then-wife Joan Haverty lived at 454 W. 20th St., where he began writing her a long letter about his recent travels while she waited tables to support them: The letter became On the Road, "the bible of the Beat generation." He wrote the book itself at the Hotel Chelsea, later the last home of Herbert Huncke." This account of On the Road is disputed by Jeff Wallenfeldt in an article for Encyclopædia Britannica: "11 or 12 Things Remembered Well About the Chelsea Hotel",
- "Legends of Hotel Chelsea chronicled in new book that covers what inspired Andy Warhol, relegated Sid Vicious to 'junkies' floor' before he killed Nancy", review by Sherryl Connelly of Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel, New York Daily News, November 16, 2013
- "Chelsea Hotel, New York review: A story behind every door" by Barry Divola, traveller.com.au, undated
- Midgette, Anne (September 6, 2005). "Arnold Weinstein, 78, a Poet and Collaborator on Operas, Is Dead". The New York Times.
- Hamilton, Ed (July 12, 2006). "Catherine Leroy: 1946–2006". chelseahotelblog.com. Retrieved September 28, 2017.
- "Weekend in the Sun" by Blake Bailey, Vanity Fair, February 28, 2013
- "The Pretty Reckless Music Video in NYC", onthesetofnewyork.com
- Myers, Marc (November 29, 2016). " 'The Weight' by the Band's Robbie Robertson". The Wall Street Journal.
- Hamilton, Ed (2007). Legends of the Chelsea Hotel. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. XV, 151. ISBN 978-1-56858-379-2. OCLC 680628325.
- "How Leonard Cohen Met Janis Joplin: Inside Legendary Chelsea Hotel Encounter" by Jordan Runtagh, Rolling Stone, November 14, 2016
- "Jobriath: Oh! You pretty thing" by Johann Hari, The Independent, 13 April 2004
- on YouTube, Yahoo Backspin
- "Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner: 'We were like Columbus, exploring the world'&thinsp" by Nick Hasted, Uncut, January 29, 2016
- Holly Williams (August 5, 2012). "Chroma chameleon: The bright essence of Frank Bowling's paintings floods his London home". The Independent. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
- Chelsea Hotel by Carter Tomassi, messyoptics.com
- Finnerty, Amy (August 19, 2007). "Jubilee City: A Memoir at Full Speed – Joe Andoe – Books – Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
- "In The Studio: David Remfry" by Harry Mount, The Telegraph, 6 December 2005
- "The Australian photographer inside a sanctuary for rebels" by Cat Woods, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 August 2020 (preview of Tony Notarberardino's photo collection Chelsea Portraits)
- Kimmelman, Michael (November 26, 1988). "Alphaeus Cole, a Portraitist, 112". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
- Dowd, Maureen (November 21, 1983). "The Chelsea Hotel, 'Kooky Buy[sic] Nice,' Turns 100". The New York Times.
- "Who Will Remember The Shapshaks?", chelseahotelblog.com, September 14, 2007
- "Charles James's Chelsea: Archival Evidence of an Artist's Life on 23rd Street" by Caitlin McCarthy, Metropolitan Museum of Art, November 30, 2016
- Made in America: Four Fashion Designers on What It Takes To Do So Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 July 2017
- "Portrait of Jason: Project Shirley Volume 2". milestonefilms.com.
- "One Man, Saved From Invisibility". The New York Times. April 14, 2013.
- "Hotel Chelsea: Rock's Vortex Of 'Death and Destruction'" by Scott Hill, Wired, May 25, 2008
- "Like a Drug I Never Did Before", lyrics
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hotel Chelsea.|
- Chelsea Hotel – New York Architecture images
- 360° Panoramas of Chelsea Hotel before 2011–2012 renovations
- "Ed Hamilton: One of the last Chelsea Hotel Bohemians". The Somerville Times. January 30, 2013.