Chelsea hotel: museum of American culture

Legendary Chelsea hotel stands alone to all New York hotels. And not because of the high price for rooms. Chelsea is considered to be one of famous city attractions. Today Chelsea hotel is like a museum of American culture. During all of the XX century, this place was a headquarters of post-modernism representatives with their literary and musician masterpieces which they generously shared with the world throw the lyrics and pop – art paintings.

Built in the end of XIX century it was the highest building of Big Apple during next twenty years.

Originally, the building on a 23 Street serves as a condominium. It was located in the cultural centre of the city. In the end of XIX century, the 23 Street was an analogue of Broadway wherein several blocks were situated two opera houses and one music hall. At that time such a number of theatres was considered as numerous and the 222 House was a centre of bohemian life.

In 1885, the Real Estate Record and Guide said that many of the apartments were owned by tradesmen and suppliers on the project «who were persuaded» to take them in lieu of money apparently under duress… The bloom of the co-op movement wilted in 1885 as several failed, and new legislation severely restricted construction of tall apartment houses… Around 1900 the building began to shift toward transient occupancy the writer O. Henry stayed there for a short time in 1907. In 1912, Titanic survivors with second-class tickets stayed at the Chelsea for a few days. New York Times —  1998

However, the panic on the real estate market led to an ownership change in 1903 and the building turned to the hotel. And so began a history of one of the famous hotels in the whole world. Starting from 1905 in Chelsea Hotel preferred to stay a lot of artists. The hotel has given a status of bohemian place almost immediately.
One of the first well-known hotel guests has become writers Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams, Jack Kerouac.

The Chelsea, whatever else it was, was a house of infinite toleration. — Arthur Miller

But true glory Chelsea getting in 60`s. Pop-art, rock-n-roll and cinematography had become the main wide hall`s inhabitants of a gorgeous hotel. With a great pleasure, we can list numerous celebrities among the lodgers.

Bob Dylan, Miloš Forman, Andy Warhol, Charles Bukowski, Stanley Kubrick, Leonard Norman Cohen, Edie Sedgwick, Tom Waits Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Eddie Izzard, Uma Thurman, Elliott Gould, Elaine Stritch, Cooper, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and more than hundred artist who created a face of modern art and music.

I had no concept of what life at the Chelsea Hotel would be like when we checked in, but I soon realised it was a tremendous stroke of luck to end up there. We could have had a fair-seized railroad flat in the East Village for what we were paying, but to dwell in this eccentric and damned hotel provided a sense of security as well as a stellar education. The goodwill that surrounded us was proof that the Fates were conspiring to help their enthusiastic children.” ― Patti Smith

Someone preferred to spend all their lives in hotel rooms. There are a regular and famous people among them including a member of legendary band RamonesDee Dee Ramone.

The walls, stairs and arches of hotel forever sponged with a spirit of rock-n-roll age and even a small touch to them can tell us about its rich history which were described in tens of books and movies!

Hotel Chelsea (2009) A horror film about a Japanese couple staying at the hotel.

Arena TV series Chelsea Hotel (1981) an edition of the popular BBC arts documentary series.

Chelsea Girls (1966) by Andy Warhol, in which the Superstars have roles

Nine ½ Weeks (1986) by Adrian Lyne

Sid & Nancy (1986) by Alex Cox

Léon: The Professional (1994) by Luc Besson

Midnight In Chelsea (1997) directed by Mark Pellington, a video to a track from the 1997 Jon Bon Jovi solo album Destination Anywhere

Pie in the Sky: the Brigid Berlin Story (2002) features a reunion between former resident Brigid Berlin and the artist Richard Bernstein at the Hotel.

The Interpreter (2005)

Chelsea Walls (2001) A movie about a new generation of artists living at the hotel.


Chelsea Horror Hotel: A Novel by Dee Dee Ramone

Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World by Sarah Vowell

Sex by Madonna

La cantante descalza y otros casos oscuros del rock by Jordi Soler

Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws at New York’s Rebel Mecca by Ed Hamilton

Netherland by Joseph O’Neill

The Chelsea Girl Murders by Sparkle Hayter

Ghost, A firsthand account into the world of paranormal activity, by Katherine Ramsland.

Revelations, A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa de la Cruz

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