Chelsea

This Select Member of The Most Famous Hotels in the World belongs to an endangered species. It is at the centre of a permanent clash of interest between keeping an icon alive or closing it down.

"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

"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 

 

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 renowned playwright and screenwriter Lonne Elder III) replaced Stanley Bard with management company BD Hotels NY, L.L.C., who have since been terminated. A few residents are fighting to return the Bards as managers to the Chelsea Hotel and have mounted a campaign of banners, pranks and other protests toward this end. The struggle to return the Bard family is documented by writer Ed Hamilton on Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog at www.chelseahotelblog.com

 "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.

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

400 Rooms
El Quichotte (spanisches Restaurant) Frühstück: Doughnut-shop Ecke 8.Avenue/23.Straße
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Our Select Member Hotel

Chelsea
Country: USA
City: New York
Opening date: 1884/1903

Note from the Host

General Manager
Hotel Manager: David Bard

Coordinates

222 West 23rd Street
NY 10011 USA, New York

Tel: +1 212 243 3700
Fax: +1 212 243 3700

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