CHELSEA HOTEL

"Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning and the first thing that I heard

Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words.

It came a-reeling up like Christmas bells, and rapping up like pipes and drums.

Oh, won't you stay?

We'll put on the day

and we'll wear it till the night comes."  

--Joni Mitchell

CHELSEA HOTEL has been the residence of a list of  famous personalities that reads like a Who’s Who in American Culture.  Among them have been Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas (who died there), O'Henry, Virgil Thomson, Gore Vidal, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, Jasper Johns, William de Koening, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy (who also died there), Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac.  Another resident, folk singer Joni Mitchell, wrote the song Chelsea Morning which made this establishment even more famous.  The Queen Anne-styled building dates back to 1883 and was designed as one of the City first cooperative apartment buildings.  It was converted into a hotel in 1905 and the landmark building remained a hotel until closing in July 2011.   

The Chelsea neighborhood was named by Thomas Clarke, a retired British seaman who brought property in this area and named it after the Chelsea Hospital, a facility for sailors, in his native London.  Clarke's son, Clement Clarke Moore, would write the classic children's tale, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."  This area of Manhattan is just north of Greenwich Village running from West 14th to West 23rd Streets and west to the Hudson River.  The hotel is at 222 W. 23rd Street.   Chelsea was also once home to The Nabisco Factory, now the Chelsea Market, where America's favorite cookie, the Oreo, was developed in 1912.

The modern glass skyscraper, the High Line Tower, is a recent addition to Chelsea.  It is an apartment building constructed along a spectacular park, the High Line, an old and abandoned elevated railway. The southern section of the High Line park, which runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, opened to the public on June 9, 2009. 


Comments