History Chelsea Present Chelsea

Chelsea -- the lady is back


A renovated staircase in New York's latest reopening of a legend. Highly praised famous hotel. 

This Select Member of The Most Famous Hotels in the World belongs to an endangered species. It was at the centre of a permanent clash of interest between keeping it alive or closing it down. By 2022, it was clear: the hotel would survive. It celebrated its resurrection and today it advertises itself in all modesty as the best hotel of New York.

"The building sits on 23rd Street with the air of a great dame who finds herself in the midst of a party of her social inferiors but instead of complaining decides to join right in the fun." -- The New York Times (2000)

One finds that comments from the past still work today: 

"I stay at the Chelsea because I like the creative atmosphere, the thick walls, the high ceilings, the friendly people. You know, some people think that all sorts of wild things are always happening at the Chelsea,but I find it so peaceful. You can have 150% privacy." Milos Forman

"The Chelsea has always been a sort of Tower of Babel of creativity and bad behavior. Some of the world's most gifted and most destructive minds have called 222 West 23rd Street home." --The International Herald Tribune "You meet people from all over the world on this international bohemian circuit, and they say "see you at the Chelsea." It's as if we have a kind of date there."  Jakov Lind

"The Chelsea Hotel may be one of the few civilized places in New York, if we mean by civilized freedom of the spirit, tolerance of differences, creativity, and art.  Richard R. Lingeman, The New York Times Book Review

"Everybody knows about it. Everybody knows it's a different kind of place, from the moment they walk in the door. The lobby looks like an art galley or museum. You have the feeling that there's something different from this hotel--you don't even have the feeling of a hotel, more that you're walking into a place that is history". Stanley Bard

"Jake Baker could have lived at any hotel. He lived in the Chelsea. He liked it; in fact, he loved the Chelsea. He used to sit in the lobby and watch people coming in and out" James T. Ferrell 

Blog at www.chelseahotelblog.com

And: you MUST read its history -->> below 

"A building, 12-story brick, with brownstone trimmings, flat for 40 families, 175 x 86, mansard, brick, and news patent roof, cost $300,000; owner George M. Smith" --Real Estate Record and Guide January 20, 1883.

Thus was the Hotel Chelsea, New York's first co-operative apartment complex, introduced into the city's fierce rental food chain. An excerpt from the March 29th, 1884 Record and Guide betrays the optimism of the experiment's earliest participants: "The owners of the various apartments do not think that running expenses will cost them anything, as the stores on the ground floor & the two upper stories are retained for tenants, so as to bring in an income." In addition to the points enumerated in the Real Estate Record and Guide, the building included wrought-iron balconies, apartments of one to seven rooms (built to the purchaser's specifications), high ceilings, fire and sound-proof walls, wood-burning fireplaces, and private penthouses. A unique iron staircase, constructed with a wrought-iron balustrade and mahogany banister, ran (and still runs) from the lobby to the twelfth floor. At the time of the Chelsea's inception, 23rd street served as a fleeting prototype of what would later become the quintessential thoroughfare of American theater, Broadway. Like the Bowery and 14th Street before it, 23rd Street's golden age as a theater strip would pass, but in the late 19th Century the Chelsea was in the center, with the Opera House Palace and Pike's Opera House (24th Street and 8th Avenue) down the block and Proctor's Theater ("continuous daily vaudeville") opening across 23rd Street. It was not until January of 1893 that this began to change, with the establishment of The Empire--Broadway's first proper theater--near 40th Street uptown. As New York historian Lloyd Morris has noted, "nobody realized that the opening of the Empire marked the beginning of a new theatrical era...yet it ushered in the Twentieth Century."

The relocation took several years, but its process ineluctably altered the social landscape of the city. Stripped of its patina of glamour, 23rd Street became a playground for real estate developers and the forces of industrialized commerce. And so the Chelsea, once and impervious stronghold of Opulence, also succumbed to the uglier forces of the market. The financial panics of 1893 and 1903, combined with the rising costs of urban life, bankrupted the Chelsea co-operative and forced the relocation of the original tenants. By 1905, the Chelsea had been sold and reorganized as a hotel.

Thus ended one grand experiment and began another, as the Chelsea Hotel began its life as a home to writers, artists, and urban transients of every variety.

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,  Gregory Corso,[ Arnold Weinstein, Catherine Leroy and James Schuyler. 

Delmore Schwartz, author of "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities", spent the last few years of his life in seclusion at the Hotel Chelsea. 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

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, 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,[citation needed] Ethan Hawke,[28] and Edie Sedgwick. 

The filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim, who temporarily resided in the hotel, portrayed the artist and long-term resident of the hotel Ching Ho Cheng for his film Tally Brown, New York.[ 

Much of the Hotel Chelsea's history has been colored by the musicians who have resided there. Some of the most prominent names include  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, Robbie Robertson, Bette Midler, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, ...

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.

Visual artists 

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Art works / more artists
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, Ryah Ludins, Robert Crumb, Ellen Cantor, Jasper Johns, Tom Wesselmann, Claes Oldenburg, Herbert Gentry, Willem de Kooning, Stella Waitzkin, Robert Mapplethorpe (room 1017, with Patti Smith).

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 oldest verified man alive

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.

Fashion designers 
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.[55] After returning to New York city in 2001 during a sabbatical, Natalie "Alabama" Chanin spent nine months living in the Chelsea Hotel. During her stay, she met many friends, future collaborators, and designed her first collection of 200 upcycled, hand sewn t-shirts, a project that would become Project Alabama and eventually Alabama Chanin. As Chanin's career took off as a pioneer of sustainable design, she continued to show her collections in rooms 409 and 411 at the Chelsea Hotel until 2003.


Hotel Chelsea is often associated with the Warhol superstars, as Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey directed Chelsea Girls (1966), a film about his Factory regulars and their lives at the hotel.

We'd like to refer to the extraordinary comprehensive wikipedia site https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Chelsea

Numerous memebers of the New York boheme scene as well as the artists around Andy Warhol have frequented and stayedat the hotel;the son of a former tenant was actually born at the hotel; 6 people actually live at the hotel, for good, among them a photographer, a stand-up comedian, a hair-stylist, an actress and the co-founder of the Ramones, DeeDee Ramone. They all share their stories on the website.

Stanley Bard
David Bard

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El Quichotte (spanisches Restaurant) Frühstück: Doughnut-shop Ecke 8.Avenue/23.Straße

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Our Select Member Hotel

Country: USA
City: New York
Opening date: 1884/1903
First owner/Manager: George M. Smith

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General Manager

And the name of the new general manager is ...? let's fill that blank -- answer to aa@famoushotels.org


222 West 23rd Street
NY 10011 USA, New York

Fax: +1 212 243 3700

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