New York's Hotel Chelsea Closes Up Shop to Guests

Sad news from New York this morning, as an era ends: The legendary Hotel Chelsea has reportedly closed up shop as a legit hotel, with only permanent residents in apartments allowed to remain.

The 12-story red brick building was built between 1883 and 1885 and opened for initial occupation in 1884. The property has been a New York City landmark since 1966, and on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977.

In its 127-year history, the hotel hosted literary greats like Mark Twain,  O. Henry, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas,  Arthur C. Clarke and William S. Burroughs, but it gained its notoriety for the rock stars that called it home or home away from home. Madonna, the Grateful Dead, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen all stayed there at various points in their careers, and the hotel made headlines in 1978 when Sid Vicious' girlfriend Nancy Spungen died mysteriously in a room there.

According to the New York Times, the building is to be sold for over $80 million to the developer Joseph Chetrit. 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.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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