To say the least, the Chelsea Hotel is not your average New York City hotel. One notable guest, sci-fi author Arthur C. Miller recalled in his memoir that you could get high from solely the marijuana fumes lingering in the elevator of the hotel. For over 100 years, this counter-cultural landmark has served some of the world’s greatest poets, musicians, and artists of all time. Although sold for $80 million in 2011, the hotel remains home to several eccentric New Yorkers, including nightlife darling and event promoter Susanne Bartsch. The hotel is currently undergoing a massive renovation, but it is anticipated that it will reopen its doors to hotel guests in 2017.
Without further ado, here are our favorite secrets of the infamous Chelsea Hotel:
10. The Chelsea Hotel was One of NYC’s Earliest Co-ops
Image by Berenice Abbott via Flickr: New York Public Library
In 1884, the Chelsea Hotel opened its doors as one of New York City’s first co-operative buildings. It was also one of the first apartments in New York City to have duplexes and a penthouse. Another grand hotel of the era, The Dakota, opened its doors just four years earlier in 1880. The Chelsea Hotel would serve as a co-op for 21 years until it was forced to file bankruptcy in 1905. However, as luck would have it, the conversion was a success, since it was conveniently close to New York City’s theater district at the time (which has since moved northwards to Times Square).