Renovation Of Chelsea Hotel, Once Home To Leonard Cohen & Other Artists, Has Become Financial Black Hole

chelseapHotel Chelsea, Storied Haunt of Dylan and Burroughs, Becomes Wall Street Money Pit by Craig Karmin (WSJ: June 23, 2015) is an update on the status of the Hotel Chelsea that touches on the Hotel’s cultural legacy:

Hotel Chelsea opened in 1884, and much of the Queen Anne-style architecture remains, including a grand staircase and cast-iron balconies. The hotel is one of the city’s first coop apartment buildings. By the early 20th century, it was attracting literary figures such as Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry. The hotel became synonymous with artists and the counterculture of the 1960s and inspired many who passed through its doors. Leonard Cohen wrote the song “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” in tribute, and Arthur C. Clarke penned “2001: A Space Odyssey” while staying there. Bob Dylan wrote one of his masterpiece songs, “Visions of Johanna,” while living there.

The article focuses, however, on the fiscal mess the current owners face:

The [investment] group already has spent about $185 million to acquire, renovate and begin converting the 19th-century building, which fell into disrepair decades ago, into a deluxe hotel with about 120 rooms and suites, these people said. But the conversion isn’t going as smoothly as planned. The hotel, closed since 2011, isn’t expected to open before 2017, while the owners spend millions of dollars a month on renovations, interest payments and other costs

The entire piece, including several photos of the Chelsea Hotel interiors and a few of its denizens, is available at the link.

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Len Bierbrier for alerting me to this article. Photo by Historystuff2 (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons