Chelsea For Sale

Bob Dylan used to stay there as did Patti Smith and Janis Joplin. Now you can own a little bit of New York City’s cultural history as Hotel Chelsea’s board of directors decides to put the 120-plus-year-old structure on the market.

Built in 1883 and located on West 23rd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, Hotel Chelsea has long been associated with authors, songwriters and other members of the creative community, at times counting Andy Warhol, Arthur C. Clarke, Charles Bukowski and Arthur Miller among its tenants. It’s where Leonard Cohen described receiving a specific sexual act “while the limousines wait in the street” in “Chelsea Hotel #2” and it’s where punk rock’s most famous couple, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, came to a violent end.

Photo: AP Photo
Attendants carry the body of Nancy Spungen from the Hotel Chelsea, allegedly stabbed to death by her boyfriend, Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious.

Now it’s for sale. The hotel’s board announced today its intent to sell the hotel in hopes “a new owner would re-energize and revitalize the Chelsea.”

Apparently the three families that have owned the building since 1946 feel renovating the classic structure is beyond their grasp, hence the decision to put it up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal, which notes that a new owner would probably discontinue the hotel’s practice of giving struggling artists breaks on their rent payments.

“We would sit down with folks and try to figure out a payment schedule,” Chelsea shareholder Paul Brounstein told WSJ.

No one knows what new owners would bring to the historic hotel. The Journal quotes Eastdil Secured senior managing director Douglas Harmon as saying Chelsea represents an opportunity for any hotel company wanting to enter the New York City market. Other suggestions include modernizing the building to appeal to younger customers with more money to spend.

Photo: AP Photo
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Click here to read the complete Wall Street Journal article (subscription may be required) and here for the Hotel Chelsea’s official website.