Friday, August 5, 2011

SOLD: Hotel Chelsea

Manhattan's Hotel Chelsea, arguably the most famed home of New York City's arts legends, has been sold and is closed.
Saturday night was, by all indications, the last night that the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd Street would be open to guests, though the duration of the closing, the first in its history, was unknown. The building is to be sold for over $80 million to the developer Joseph Chetrit, though the deal had not closed as of Sunday, according to someone close to the matter, who asked not to be named because the negotiations were confidential. Extensive renovations are expected to take at least a year. The hotel's 100 permanent residents will be allowed to stay, but they have been told nothing beyond what the startled hotel workers learned late last week: that all reservations after Saturday were canceled.
The New York Times reminisces:
A palpable heaviness lingers, especially in the first-floor room where Nancy Spungen was staying with her boyfriend, Sid Vicious, when she was stabbed to death in 1978. Artists, photographers, composers and producers still live there, making the place part art colony, part living museum. Residents say the hotel’s character shifted irrevocably after its lionized former manager and part-owner, Stanley Bard, was ousted by the hotel’s board of directors four years ago. Mr. Bard had acted as curator, deciding who got to stay and how much would be paid, and overseeing the hotel during the days when the likes of Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen and Robert Crumb roamed its halls. Residents said the hotel’s occupancy and room rates had suffered since Mr. Bard’s departure, with celebrities and artists replaced by budget tourists.
I've actually been in the very room where Sid stabbed Nancy. Definitely spooky.