Chelsea Hotel

Chelsea Hotel (52)

The wonderful red brick building, beautiful wrought iron railings and lovely mansard roof which now houses the famous Chelsea Hotel was built in 1883 and was the tallest building in New York until 1899. At that time it was located in what was the city's Theatre District.

Originally, the building belonged to the Chelsea Cooperative, but because of economic concerns and the transfer of the theatres to Times Square, the cooperative went bankrupt and the building was sold to be opened as a hotel in 1905.

But above all, the Chelsea Hotel has carved a niche in the history of the city, with its innumerable list of guests and famous residents. There have so many that we can even quote them by their professions. For starters, writers like Mark Twain, Arthur Miller, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Robert Oppenheimer. As for personalities from the world of film, Stanley Kubrick, Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jane Fonda. Musicians such as Keith Richards, Patti Smith, Dee Dee Ramone, Edith Piaf, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and Sid Vicious. And artists like Christo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

To cite other significant details, we can tell you that while Arthur C. Clarke was living in the Chelsea Hotel he wrote the screenplay for "2001: A Space Odyssey"; Andy Warhol recorded Brigid Polk for a film titled "The Chelsea Girls" in 1966 and it has even served as a set for several films like "The Interpreter" by Sydney Pollack in 2005 starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, among others. 

Obviously, somewhere so famous has some dark stories, because Nancy Spungen was stabbed here in 1978, allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious, although it has never been clear. Others suggest it was a settling of debts by drug traffickers as Nancy was hooked

As you can see the list of famous people and anecdotes is almost infinite. So do not miss out on at least entering the lobby, it is open to the public, and admire the artworks presented there, many of which were delivered by tenants as payment. And if you have more time, in the basement is El Serena, a restaurant bar which has been frequented by many celebrities and bohemians for a drink in a lovely atmosphere.

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