Hubert’s creations—New York City’s first co-ops—were tremendously successful, and none more so than the Chelsea, which opened in 1884.Keeping with Fourier’s philosophy, Hubert reserved apartments for the people who built the building: its electricians, construction workers, interior designers, and plumbers.With Fling.com's geo-location browsing find other like-minded locals.Tales from the legendary hotel-slash-commune that housed Jackson Pollock, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Bob Dylan, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, and Sid Vicious—told by residents like Rufus Wainwright, Betsey Johnson, R. Today the halls of the Chelsea Hotel are salted with dust.(For a full history of the Chelsea Hotel and its origins, see Sherill Tippins’ forthcoming )But Hubert’s grand experiment went bankrupt in 1905, and the Chelsea was converted to a luxury hotel, which was visited regularly by guests such as Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, and the painter John Sloan.After World War II, as the hotel declined and room prices fell, it attracted Jackson Pollock, James T.The curator of this living museum, the gatekeeper responsible for deciding who should be allowed admittance and for how much, was Stanley Bard.
Bob Dylan wrote “Sara” in #211; Janis Joplin fellated Leonard Cohen in #424, an act immortalized in “Chelsea Hotel #2” (“you were talking so brave and so sweet/giving me head on the unmade bed”); Sid Vicious stabbed Nancy Spungen to death in #100. In its last half-century, the Chelsea was run as an informal artists’ colony.
Some residents believe that they are being forced out, and that the Chelsea as they know it—and as it was known to residents from Sherwood Anderson and Thomas Wolfe to Sid Vicious and Jasper Johns—will soon vanish before the city’s merchant greed.
Dystopias always begin as utopias, and the Chelsea is no different.
Hotel operations ceased in 2011 for the first time in 106 years, and now the few remaining residents roam the echoing corridors like ghosts.
They have watched workers haul out antique moldings, stained glass, even entire walls.