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Rock Landmark Closes Doors

An eccentric center of American culture though the decades, The Chelsea Hotel in New York City, is closing. Bob Dylan lived there while writing songs for Blonde On Blonde, Dylan Thomas lived and died there, Arthur Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey in the Chelsea, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Gore Vidal stayed there, The Grateful Dead played on its roof, Sid Vicious almost certainly killed his girlfriend there (he died before being convicted), Arthur Miller resided there after his split with Marilyn Monroe, Leonard Cohen, it is said, wrote of Janis Joplin giving him oral gratification on an unmade bed in the Chelsea after '...talking so brave and so sweet' in his song Chelsea Hotel#2
The 12 story hotel was the tallest building in the city when it opened in 1839.  For more than half a century the Chelsea was managed by members of the Bard family, a succession of owners more interested in the arts and the welfare of the tenants than the bottom line.  That changed in 2007 when Stanley Bard was ousted after a few years of escalating tensions over planned renovations and other issues.  With Bard out of the picture, a window opened for an outsider to put in an offer on the building.  Joseph Chetrit reportedly stepped in with an offer of $85 million and the board jumped at it.  It looks like the fabled hotel is headed for a complete gutting for transformation into luxury condos or another high-end Manhattan hotel.

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