Chelsea Hotel bought out by rich types who promise ‘makeover’
Perhaps the most rock n roll hotel in the world, the Chelsea, in New York City has been bought out by the least rock n roll hotel chain in the world- a Moroccan-Jewish family with vast American real estate holdings and past legal difficulties.
The Chetrit family, who purchased the famous property on August 1, has made clear its intention to remake the West Side building. And that is making at least some of the Chelsea’s famously bristly residents a little nervous.
Gasps of despair could be heard across the Atlantic as the hotel famed for its former residents like Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin and, of course, Sid Vicious (it was the scene of Nancy Spungen’s death) has fallen into enemy hands.
The hotel ”â usually known as the Chelsea Hotel ”â holds an unparalleled place in American pop culture myth: It was the site of the sexual encounter recalled in Leonard Cohen’s song, “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,”Â and of the murder of Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious. William Burroughs wrote “Naked Lunch”Â at the Chelsea, and everyone from Dee Dee Ramone to Bob Dylan spent long hours in one or another of its rooms.
Legendary manager Stanley Bard was ousted a few years ago and the hotel has been heading for the sellout since then. Bard, who used to accept paintings instead of rent looked as shocked as the rest of the pop art community as the Holiday Inn moved in.
It’s just another sad signpost on the gradual takeover of our culture by the moneybags chains, maybe they could be a bit more hands off this time and leave same of the dank and dusty charisma of the hotel…