Except Naipaula it seems to be the most famous Hotel in the world. Even football-clubs and president-daughters are named after it. The twelve-story red brick building was built about 1884 in Queen Anne Revival and Victorian Gothic.
Numerous people lived – sometimes for years – in one of its suites, Brendan Behan for example for eight month, others even for decennials…Dylan Thomas, among others, even died there. Vladimir Nabokov liked it more in Switzerland: for a long time he and his wife lived in the Hotel Montreux-Palace.
The myth “Hotel” (Arthur Hailey: “Hotel”,Wim Wenders and Bono: “The Million Dollar Hotel”, Thomas Kutzli: “Hotel Naipaula”, The Eagles: “Hotel California”, Wes Anderson, “Grand Budapest Hotel”) certainly enlightens the Hotel Chelsea too: Arthur Miller wrote a story about it, Andy Warhol and Paul Morissey filmed the “Chelsea Girls” there, Madonna took a photo shooting for her book “Sex”, and scores of well known people passed through its rooms (just have a look downstairs).
Because Pier 54 is not far away some survivants of the “Titanic” spent some time in the hotel.
Chelsea Hotel is famous for its iron balconies and for it’s staircase, where all kind of art left by the residents is exposed.
And who could collect all the music (for example “Visions of Joanna”), films (“9 ½ Weeks”), books (“Just Kids”, Patti Smith), television series (“24”),videoclips (“Midnight in Chelsea”, Jon Bon Jovi, though Manhattan is to be seen the clip is actually about the London quarter the Hotel indirectly took it’s name from), magazines and artworks (Yves Klein, “Manifeste de l’Hôtel Chelsea”) mentioning the place?
This house, sometime called “The Rebels Mecca”, must provide an atmosphere making everybody creative, in same time driving mad and suicidal…..Have you been there?
Guests of the Hotel: (from: Wikipedia)
During its lifetime Hotel Chelsea has provided a home to many great writers and thinkers including Mark Twain,] O. Henry, Herbert Huncke, Dylan Thomas, Arthur C. Clarke, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Sam Shepard, Arnold Weinstein, Sharmagne Leland-St. John, Arthur Miller, Quentin Crisp, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac (who wrote On the Road there), Robert Hunter, Jack Gantos, Brendan Behan, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Wolfe, Charles Bukowski, Jan Cremer, Henk Hofland, Raymond Kennedy, Matthew Richardson, James T. Farrell, Valerie Solanas, Mary Cantwell, Rene Ricard and Brad Gooch, R. K. Narayan.
The hotel has been a home to actors and film directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Jonas Mekas (was long-time resident, from 1967 to 1974), Shirley Clarke, Hal Miller, Mitch Hedberg, Dave Hill, Miloš Forman, Lillie Langtry, Ethan Hawke, Dennis Hopper, Vincent Gallo, Patricia Chica, Maria Beatty, Eddie Izzard, Uma Thurman, Elliott Gould, Elaine Stritch, Howard Brookner, Michael Imperioli, Jane Fonda, Russell Brand, Gaby Hoffmann and her mother, the Warhol film star Viva, and Edie Sedgwick.
Much of Hotel Chelsea’s history has been colored by the musicians who have resided or visited there. Some of the most prominent names include the Grateful Dead, Nico, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Bobby “Werner” Strete, Mod Fun, Virgil Thomson, Chick Corea, Alexander Frey, Jeff Beck, Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders, Mink DeVille, Phil Lynott, Jenny Jones, Cher, Henri Chopin, John Cale, Édith Piaf, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Alejandro Escovedo, Janis Joplin, Bette Midler, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Walker, Canned Heat, Sid Vicious (who stabbed his girlfriend to death there), J.D. Stooks, Vivian Stanshall, Richard Hell, Jobriath Boone, Little Annie, Lotti Golden, Rufus Wainwright, Lance Loud, Abdullah Ibrahim/Sathima Bea Benjamin/Jean Grae, Ryan Ross, Vasant Rai, Jacques Labouchere, and Leonard Cohen. Madonna lived at the Chelsea in the early eighties, returning in 1992 to shoot photographs for her book, Sex, in room 822. Musician, gay civil rights icon and Stonewall veteran Stormé DeLarverie resided at the hotel for several decades. Falco, Ryan Adams, The Libertines, The Fuse, Michael McDermott, Melissa Auf der Maur, Tim Freedman, and Anthony Kiedis have spent time at The Chelsea. Taylor Momsen‘s band, The Pretty Reckless, did a photo shoot in room 822 of the Chelsea. British pop band La Roux shot the second version of the music video for their song “In for the Kill” at the Chelsea. The video for Dave Gahan‘s solo single “Saw Something” was filmed in the hotel.
The hotel has featured and collected the work of the many visual artists who have passed through. Robert Blackburn, Doris Chase, Bernard Childs, Brett Whiteley, Larry Rivers and from 1961 to 1970 several of his French nouveau réalistes friends like Yves Klein (who wrote there in April 1961 his Manifeste de l’hôtel Chelsea), Arman, Martial Raysse, Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Christo, Daniel Spoerri or Alain Jacquet (who left a version of his Déjeuner sur l’herbe from 1964 in the hotel lobby featuring other pieces by Larry Rivers or Arman, Francesco Clemente, Julian Schnabel, Ching Ho Cheng, David Remfry, Philip Taaffe, Ralph Gibson, Diego Rivera, Robert Crumb, Ellen Cantor, Loïc Dorez, Jasper Johns, Tom Wesselmann, Edie Sedgwick, Claes Oldenburg, Vali Myers, Donald Baechler, Herbert Gentry, Willem de Kooning, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lynne Drexler, Moses Soyer (who died there in 1974), Nora Sumberg, Willem van Es, and Henri Cartier-Bresson have all spent time at the hotel. Experimental filmmaker and ethnomusicologist Harry Everett Smith lived and died in Room 328. The painter Alphaeus Philemon Cole lived there for 35 years until his death in 1988 at age 112.