Hotel Chelsea Closes

From New York

The Hotel Chelsea is now closed to guests. If you’re not familiar with the landmark, it has long been known as home to a number of artists extending back to the time it was built in 1884. Sir 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 intellectual 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.

Hotel Chelsea is often associated with the Andy Warhol Superstars, as he and Paul Morrisey directed Chelsea Girls (1966), a film about his Factory regulars and their lives at the hotel. Chelsea residents from the Warhol scene included Edie Sedgwick, Nico, Paul America, and Brigid Berlin.

The hotel has featured and collected the work of the many visual artists who have passed through. Robert Mapplethorpe, Jasper Johns, Edie Sedgwick, Claes Oldenburg and Willem De Kooning have all spent time at Hthe hotel. he painter Alphaeus Philemon Cole lived there for 35 years until his death in 1988 at age 112, when he was the oldest living man.

Monday evening residents learned that the sale of the Chelsea to developer Joseph Chetrit had been finalized. No word from developers on what’s in store for the future. One resident told the Village Voice he felt as though he had survived the Titanic.

About Eric Miller

Eric Miller is co-founder and contributor to Urban Art & Antiques. His website is ericmiller.me

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