Chelsea Hotel

West Village, Chelsea & Meatpacking District

This red-brick hotel, built in the 1880s and featuring ornate iron balconies and no fewer than seven plaques declaring its literary landmark status, has played a major role in pop-culture history. It’s where the likes of Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas and Arthur Miller hung out; Jack Kerouac allegedly crafted On the Road during one marathon session here; and it’s where Arthur C Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning while staying at the Chelsea Hotel in 1953, and Nancy Spungen died here after being stabbed by her Sex Pistols boyfriend Sid Vicious in 1978. Among the many celebs who have logged time living at the Chelsea are Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Stanley Kubrick, Dennis Hopper, Edith Piaf, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, whose song ‘Chelsea Hotel’ recalls a romp with Janis Joplin (who spent time here, too).

Sadly, the hotel's days of artistry and intrigue are long gone. A decade-long saga of battles with permanent tenants plus revolving ownership sees its destiny in limbo; at the time of research, development for a luxury hotel with a restaurant and two bars was underway.

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