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The Life and Times of the Chelsea Hotel

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, the Chelsea Hotel has been an icon of American culture—and counterculture. In Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea HotelSherill Tippins tells the entertaining history of the Chelsea and of the  artists who have lived and created there, including Edgar Lee Masters, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Sam Shepard, Sid Vicious, and Dee Dee Ramone.

Cornelia Santomenna archives
The Chelsea in 1884.

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

© Billy Name
Edie Sedgwick

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Thomas Wolfe

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

© Dale Smith
Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg.

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

© Charles Gatewood
William Burroughs and Brion Gysin with the Dream Machine

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

© Keith Green
Dee Dee Ramone

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

© Enrico Ferorelli
Alphaeus Cole

From Inside the Dream Palace, by Sherrill Tippins. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Guests:

Sherill Tippins

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Comments [3]

Joan from Brooklyn

My mother and grandmother lived briefly at the Chelsea after WWII. They had little money, lost their home, and a friend suggested that they rent at the Chelsea. She remembers it fondly but met more regular folks, and fewer artists, than you'd think, although she tells of the day my no nonsense Irish grandmother met artist (sp?) Chekabossov and got a viewing of his paintings of models with four or five breasts. She also remembers the gardens in the top floor apartment. At the urging of one resident, she did take some lessons at the art students league. Residents would read the newspapers in the lobby in the evenings.

Dec. 17 2013 12:57 PM
tom from Astoria

I have seen beautiful floorboards and woodwork cut up and carted out of the chelsea as the renovations were started. I thought all was lost. Then I recently met the renovation manager and she told me that the NEW renovation company is tearing out the new construction that covered the great old ceilings and details., and trying to save a lot of the old stuff. She showed me photos of the original dining room and other things being preserved. What's the status of what they're doing to it from your sperspedtive?

Dec. 17 2013 12:49 PM

The recent Off Broadway play, "Brendan at the Chelsea" focused on one disastrous day in the life of notorious Irish writer Brendan Behan during his Chelsea Hotel stay in the early 60s. Included in the cast of charterers was Behan's neighbor, composer George Kleinsinger, best known for "Tubby the Tuba"
There is a bronze plaque on the facade of the Chelsea honoring Behan, featuring his quote, “To America, my new-found land:the man that hates you hates the human race.”

Dec. 17 2013 12:10 PM

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