Template:Infobox nrhp The Hotel Chelsea is a well-known residence for artists, musicians, and writers in the neighborhood of Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City. It is located at 222 West 23rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Built in 1883, the hotel welcomes guests, but is primarily known for its long-term residents, past and present.


The hotel has always been a center of artistic and bohemian activity and it houses artwork created by many of the artists who have visited. The hotel was the first building to be listed by New York City as a cultural preservation site and historic building of note.

The twelve-story red-brick building that now houses the Hotel Chelsea was built in 1883, and opened in 1884 as one of the city's first private apartment cooperatives.[1] At the time Chelsea, and particularly the street on which the hotel was located, was the center of New York's Theater District. However, within a few years the combination of economic worries and the relocation of the theaters bankrupted the Chelsea cooperative. In 1905, the building was purchased and opened as a hotel. Since 1946, the hotel has been managed by the Bard family, and until recently was run by 72-year-old Stanley Bard who took over as managing director from his father in 1955. [2]On June 18, 2007, the hotel's board of directors ousted Bard as the hotel's manager. Marlene Krauss, a doctor who is the chief executive of KBL Healthcare Ventures, and David Elder, one of the heirs of an original owner who lives in California, replaced Stanley Bard with management company BD Hotels NY, L.L.C., who have since been terminated. Residents are fighting to return the Bards, as managers and majority shareholders, to the Chelsea Hotel and have mounted a campaign of banners, art pranks and other protests toward this end.[1]

Owing to its long list of famous guests and residents, the hotel has an ornate history, both as a birth place of creative modern art and punctuated by tragedy catching the public eye. Sir Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey while staying at the Chelsea, and poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Richard and Rebecca Eller chose it as a place for philosophical and intellectual exchange. It is also known as the place where the writer Dylan Thomas was staying when he died of alcohol poisoning on November 4, 1953, and where Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found stabbed to death on October 12, 1978.[2]

People who live/have lived at ChelseaEdit

Writers and thinkersEdit

During its lifetime Hotel Chelsea has provided a home to many great writers and thinkers including Mark Twain[1], O. Henry[1], Herbert Huncke[3], Dylan Thomas[1], Dale Beran, Arthur C. Clarke, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Leonard Cohen, John Patrick Kennedy, Arthur Miller, Quentin Crisp, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams[1], Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac (who wrote On the Road here)[3], Robert Hunter, Jack Gantos, Brendan Behan, Simone de Beauvoir, Robert Oppenheimer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bill Landis, Michelle Clifford, Thomas Wolfe, Charles Bukowski, Raymond Kennedy, Matthew Richardson, Stephen Mooney, and René Ricard. Charles R. Jackson, author of The Lost Weekend, committed suicide in his room at the Chelsea on September 21, 1968.

Actors and film directorsEdit

The hotel has been a home to actors and film directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Shirley Clarke, Cyndi Coyne, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Hill, Miloš Forman, Lillie Langtry, Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Eddie Izzard, Kevin O'Connor, Uma Thurman, Elliot Gould, Jane Fonda, and Gaby Hoffmann and her mother, the Warhol film star Viva and Edie Sedgwick,pornstar Rikki Love.


Much of Hotel Chelsea's history has been colored by the musicians who have resided or visited there. Some of the most prominent names include The Grateful Dead, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Virgil Thomson, Dee Dee Ramone of The Ramones, Henri Chopin, John Cale, Édith Piaf, Joni Mitchell, Marty Connolly, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious[1], The Distillers, Richard Hell, glam rocker Jobriath, Rufus Wainwright, Abdullah Ibrahim/Sathima Bea Benjamin, Indian musician Vasant Rai, and Leonard Cohen. More recently, artists such as Madonna, Ryan Adams, The Libertines, and Anthony Kiedis have spent time at The Chelsea.

Visual artistsEdit

The hotel has featured and collected the work of the many visual artists who have passed through. Larry Rivers, Robert M. Lambert, Brett Whiteley, Christo, Arman, Richard Bernstein, Francesco Clemente, Philip Taaffe, Michele Zalopany, Ralph Gibson, Rene Shapshak, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Robert Crumb, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Vali Myers, Donald Baechler, Herbert Gentry, Willem De Kooning, John Dahlberg and Henri Cartier-Bresson have all spent time at Hotel Chelsea. Painter & ethnomusicologist Harry Everett Smith lived and died at the Chelsea in Room 328. The painter Alphaeus Cole lived there for 35 years until his death in 1988 at age 112, America's oldest living person. Bohemian abstract and Pop art painter Susan Olmetti creates paintings outside on the sidewalk during her frequent summer residencies at the hotel.[4]

Fashion DesignersEdit

Charles James: Amongst the ranks of the legendary couturiers of the 20th Century who influenced fashion in the 1940s and 50s -- a man also credited with being America's first couturier. In 1964 he moved into the Chelsea Hotel in New York. James died of pneumonia at the Chelsea Hotel in 1978.

Warhol SuperstarsEdit

Hotel Chelsea is often associated with the Andy Warhol Superstars, as he directed The Chelsea Girls (1966), a film about his Factory regulars and their lives at the hotel. Chelsea residents from the Warhol scene included Edie Sedgwick, Viva, Larry Rivers, Ultra Violet, Mary Woronov, Holly Woodlawn, Andrea Feldman, Nico, Paul America, and Brigid Berlin.


Ruth Harkness, an adventuress/naturalist who brought the first live giant panda from China to the U.S. in the 1930s, stayed at the Chelsea Hotel after her return to the States.

Hotel Chelsea in popular cultureEdit


The hotel featured in

Several survivors of the Titanic stayed for some time in this hotel as it is a short distance from Pier 54 where the Titanic was supposed to dock.

Much of an episode of the 1973 PBS reality television series An American Family was filmed at the Hotel Chelsea, as family member Lance Loud was staying there at the time.

A version of the opera Aida was filmed there with live lions.


The hotel is also featured in numerous songs, including:

The hotel is possibly indirectly referenced in the Grateful Dead song "Stella Blue" (1970) by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia. Hunter was staying in the hotel when he wrote the song's lyrics, which contain the line, "I've stayed in every blue-light cheap hotel." The meaning of "blue-light" in this context has proven elusive.[6]

The Libertines recorded either some or all of the Babyshambles Sessions while staying at the Chelsea Hotel in 2003 (there are conflicting reports as to exactly which songs were recorded at the hotel itself)[7]. Frontman Pete Doherty gave away the entire sessions (featuring over 40 brand new separate recordings) to a fan who he met in the foyer of the hotel, after requesting on a messageboard for someone to help him put them on the internet for free.




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Chemberlain, Lisa. "Change at the Chelsea, Shelter of the Arts", The New York Times, June 19, 2007. Accessed 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."
  2. 2.0 2.1 New York Storeys The Times Online, 25 March 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 "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 home of the so-called unsung Beat, Herbert Huncke."
  4. Kimmelman, Michael. "Alphaeus Cole, a Portraitist, 112", The New York Times, November 26, 1988. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  6. The Annotated "Stella Blue"
  7. Template:Cite web

External linksEdit



Template:Registered Historic Placesca:Chelsea Hotel de:Chelsea Hotel es:Hotel Chelsea fr:Hotel Chelsea pl:Hotel Chelsea fi:Hotel Chelsea no:Hotel Chelsea sv:Hotel Chelsea zh:切尔西旅馆

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.