New York Stories: The Chelsea Hotel
The Chelsea Hotel as it looked on March 3 2013. Photo: Rafael Martel
The Hotel Chelsea, also known as the Chelsea Hotel, or simply the Chelsea, is a historic New York City hotel and landmark, known primarily for its history of notable residents. Located at 222 West 23rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea, the 250-unit hotel has been the home of numerous writers, musicians, artists, and actors, including Bob Dylan,
Virgil Thomson, Charles Bukowski, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Jobriath, and Larry Rivers. Though the Hotel Chelsea no longer accepts new long-term residencies, the building is still home to many residents who lived there before the change of policy. As of August 1, 2011, the hotel has closed for renovations.
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 artistical exchange. It is also known as the place where the writer Dylan Thomas was staying when he died 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 has written a short piece, “The Chelsea Affect”, describing life at The Chelsea in the early 1960s.
The building has been a designated New York City landmark since 1966, and on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.