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It’s the end of an era. The Hotel Chelsea, which opened in 1884 — where Sid Vicious may or may not have killed Nancy Spungen, Andy Warhol directed Chelsea Girls, and the names of residents frequently read like a who’s who of ’60s counterculture — is now up for sale, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The hotel’s 15 shareholders (led by three families whose Hungarian immigrant ancestors bought the West 23rd Street hotel 65 years ago) have decided to sell the 200,000 square foot building after determining that modernizing would be too challenging and run into the millions. A hotel spokesman told ABC News that the building’s upkeep “required a $2 million to $3 million investment in recent years to renovate 25 rooms and the lobby.”
They acknowledge that a sale will likely change the current status quo, or lack thereof. “The way we want to run the hotel is not necessarily the way the business world works,” says Paul Brounstein, one of the shareholders. Meaning a likely farewell to “giving artists a break” on such mundane things as payment and housing any number of creative thinkers (Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Arthur Miller, Tom Wolfe) and crazies (and sometimes one and the same) at one time.
Artists will probably make way for a “more upscale clientele,” in the vein of the Breslin’s makeover to the Ace Hotel. There is no asking price as of yet.
Well, we’ll always have Nico.