The legendary New York City hub for artists, musicians, writers and actors, known as the Chelsea Hotel, is undergoing a change of ownership. Along with new propietors, a year long renovation is set to take place as well. Some say this marks the end of an era, and has been spiraling downward since overseer of operations Stanley Bard, veteran to the days of Joplin, Dylan, and the tragic partnership of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, was removed by the hotel’s board of directors four years ago.
The history embedded in the Victorian-esque red brick walls screams bohemia, which is feared to vanish once the managerial transformation ensues.
Because of these upcoming changes, Hotel Chelsea has closed its doors, and will no longer be taking reservations until the project is finished.
To be purchased for $80 million by developer Joseph Chetrit, it looks like the in-house removing of guests and employees is a case of union-busting.
Chetrit can hire non-union workers after the contract expires, and after the hotel has been closed for a year.
But is this also a situation of luxury condo gentrification? Rumors surfaced in April that interested buyer David Edelstein had plans to transform the landmark into just that, but Chetrit’s intentions remain unknown. What is confirmed to change are the plumbing, ventilation and electrical systems, which won’t necessarily alter its vintage aesthetic.
“It’s kind of fun to have this influx of people, even if you’re making fun of them,” said one resident. Tony Notarberardino, a 17 year resident, hosted an “end of an era” party, stating “Let’s celebrate what we had and embrace change,” reported The New York Times.
Permanent residents of the Chelsea will still remain, but their nostalgic memories of the original will be missed.
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