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New York's iconic Hotel Chelsea is up for sale

posted 19 Oct 2010, 15:38 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 19 Oct 2010, 15:40 ]

It has housed some of the world's most famous artists, including Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Sid Vicious, Arthur C. Clarke, Dylan Thomas and Bob Dylan. Now the famous or infamous Hotel Chelsea is for sale.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 19, 2010) REUTERS - Some of the most famous people on the planet have called it home. The Hotel Chelsea was where Dylan Thomas died of alcohol poisoning and where Sid Vicious killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. It is also where Arthur C. Clarke wrote "2001: A Space Odyessy" and where Andy Warhol made most of the film "Chelsea Girls". It is also where superstars including Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, Bob Dylan, and Madonna have lived.

Now the Hotel Chelsea, a New York landmark, is for sale. The Board of the Hotel Chelsea announced their intention to sell the hotel on Tuesday (October 19).

"It is time to let a new owner, with perhaps some new innovative ideas and resource, to re-energize and revitalize the Chelsea," said a board member in a statement.

The 12-story Queen Anne style building, with its original wrought iron balconies, is 128 years old. Built in 1883, the building became a hotel in 1905. It was given landmark status in 1966, meaning whoever buys it can not make major structural changes.

For nearly a century, the iconic hotel has attracted some of the biggest names in art, literature, film, and music.

Hotel Chelsea General Manager, Arnold Tamasar said the building has allowed artists to do their best work.

"It's been here for quite a long time and it's a haven for a lot of artists and musicians who choose this location to come to really be the best that they can be in their own arts," said Tamasar.

Tamasar added the list of famous people who have stayed at the Hotel Chelsea is too long to recall, but he tried anyway.

"Well you have a lot. Arthur Miller, Arthur C. Clarke. You have quite a few artists who have stayed here. Andy Warhol has been here, Bob Dylan of course was here too. It's just a vast array of artists who have been here," he said.

The building now houses 101 apartments and 125 hotel rooms.

The two bedroom suite where Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller once lived can be booked for about $429 (USD) per night, according to hotel staff.

Travelers can stay in Madonna's former suite for about $329 (USD) per night.

Current Hotel Chelsea resident and novelist David Linter detailed why the building is like no other.

"The thing that always made this place unique for me was that it was a place of real tolerance. All kinds of unusual people with very specific peccadilloes and what-have-yous lived here and came through this place, and liked that. I liked that nobody cared. If you wanted to be quiet, you could be quiet and nobody bothered you. If you wanted to dance around or whatever, nobody cared about that either. Everybody was really cool about who you were or how you wanted to be and that for me meant the world," said Linter.

Linter said he has lived in the building for 17 years and has seen his share of famous people.

"It's cool, but so what, it's the Chelsea, you expect it," Linter added.

No one at the Hotel Chelsea would say for how much they expect the building to sell.