Hotel Chelsea is one of New York City’s most notorious landmarks. The hotel has a Bohemian Character that has attracted actors, writers, artists and musicians throughout its history. There are reported to be numerous ghosts haunting the hallways and rooms of the historic hotel.
Hotel Chelsea in New York, NY, has been the lodging choice and inspiration of many writers, musicians and artists who enjoyed the Bohemian atmosphere of the popular hotel. Well known occupants have included Janis Joplin, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas and Sex Pistol Sid Vicious.
Sid Vicious, Sex Pistol punk rocker, was suspected of stabbing and killing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, in 1978 in room 100. Sid Vicious himself died of a heroin overdose in 1979, in Greenwich Village, NY, Sid Vicious was a known drug addict who was distraught after the murder of his girlfriend and reportedly said that he didn’t want to live without her. The ghost of Sid Vicious is said to occupy Hotel Chelsea and has been seen in the elevator.
Thomas Wolfe, a writer, has made his presence known on the eighth floor. Thomas Wolfe wrote “Look Homeward Angel” and “The Web and the Rock” while he lived at the Chelsea.
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas,spent his final days drinking alcohol at the hotel. Dylan Thomas died in 1953 after reportedly drinking 18 whiskeys in a row and falling into a fatal coma. It is said that the spirit of Dylan Thomas continues to stay on at the Hotel Chelsea.
History of Hotel Chelsea
In 1750 Captain Thomas Clark, who was a veteran officer of the French-Indian Wars named his estate on the shores of the Hudson River, Chelsea. Chelsea was located two and a half miles north of the town of New York. Chelsea was located on 23rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues. During the 1800’s, Chelsea was developed and expanded.
The daughter of Captain and Mrs. Clark, Charity, married the Episcopal Bishop of New York, Benjamin Moore. Their son, Clement Moore wrote the famous story, “A Visit from St Nicholas”, more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas”. Clement Moore divided the estate by the 1850’s, developing his grandfather’s estate into a suburb. The suburb developed through the years and is now a thriving neighborhood of brownstones, tenements and apartment towers. Hotel Chelsea is a Victorian Gothic building that stands in the middle of this vibrant, residential section of New York.
The Chelsea was built as a luxury apartment cooperative in 1884. Built in the Queen Anne style, the brick building featured wrought-iron balconies and brownstone touches. Apartments had one to seven bedrooms. The twelve story building was the tallest building in New York until 1902. In 1903 the Chelsea cooperative went bankrupt, a result of financial panics and rising taxes. The Chelsea became a hotel in 1905.
The Chelsea Hotel had a Bohemian atmosphere treasured by artists, writers and musicians. Famous visitors to the hotel included Mark Twain, O. Henry, Elgar Lee Masters, Thomas Wolfe, Virgil Thomson, Dylan Thomas, Sarah Bernhardt, Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix, Andy Warhol, Tennessee Williams, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Milos Forman, Allen Ginsberg, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.
Leonard Cohen wrote a song about the hotel, appropriately named “Chelsea Hotel.” Andy Warhol made a movie in 1966, titled “Chelsea Girl.”
Today the hotel accommodates tenants as an apartment complex and hotel lodging. Guests enjoy the spacious, soundproof rooms with high ceilings. Visitors choose Hotel Chelsea for a unique New York experience. Hotel Chelsea is in one of New York’s most exciting residential neighborhoods. Chelsea is near Soho, Tribeca, Nolita and Broadway. Bars, restaurants and nightclubs are within walking distance from the famous landmark hotel.
The building is claimed to have a unique energy, conducive to creativity. Some people claim that the artistic spirits and ghosts that inhabit the building inspire creativity in the living.