Ankling to the Chelsea Hotel…or is it the Hotel Chelsea? (Part 2)

Okay, my previous post was all about the exterior of the famous Chelsea Hotel.  It’s nondescript on the outside but has a wall of plaques that would be the envy of any hotel anywhere.  The hotel is reknowned as a last vestige of the Bohemian movement in NYC.  It sure won’t win any awards for glossiness.

The doorway is ordinary.  Double-wide glass doors.  The lobby is relatively tiny with the desk set in the far back.  I asked if they minded if I took pictures.  The gentleman seemed taken a little aback, but granted it.  I presume he was taken aback by the request for permission.  I don’t think he was surprised that someone would want to take its picture.  It’s…an unusual lobby.


Yes, a girl in a swing.  But note that it isn’t a red velvet swing.  That’s a story about Madison Square Garden for another time.

The walls are lined with artwork.  The first one, apparently named “Presidents” was one that I found a bit captivating.  I sure don’t know why, though.  It looks like the old Dutch Masters cigar box.




I’ve no idea whose bust that is, but it looks a bit like Harry Truman.


This is what you see when you first walk in…other than the woman on a swing.


You’ll note that I’m not posting any pictures of the lobby itself.  Just the walls.  The furniture, in a word, is non-descript.  Boring.  Pretty comfortable, but not old.  Just some cloth covered seating for maybe 15 or 20.  There were a number of people in the lobby doing work (on laptops) or reading.  I didn’t want to bother them so I did my photography around them.

I didn’t go into any of the rooms, or even go past the desk area, so I don’t know if the rest of the place is swanky or not.  I imagine it’s not.  I think they’re letting the history of the place speak for itself…and the artwork.  I wonder if it ever changes.  I wonder what the criteria for inclusion is.  I can’t imagine taking down the woman in the swing, though.

So, is it the “Chelsea Hotel” or the “Hotel Chelsea”?  The plaques keep saying “Chelsea Hotel”.  The hotel’s website is  I’m all in favor of voting:  when I google “Hotel Chelsea”, I get 383,000 hits.  When I go after “Chelsea Hotel”, it returns 653,000 hits.  The affectation-friendly “Hotel Chelsea” seems the loser.  Even the hotel’s official website gives it both names.

Would the plaques lie to us?

Oh, and the place has an interesting blog:  Living with Legends.


Explore posts in the same categories: Celebrity Points, Chelsea, Manhattan, Wanderings

One Comment on “Ankling to the Chelsea Hotel…or is it the Hotel Chelsea? (Part 2)”

  1. […] The foundation did not take action for another eight years, when, according to the complaint, “in or around 2010 or 2011, the Larry Rivers Foundation learned that Defendants, individually and/or collectively, had asserted ownership of Dutch Masters and removed it from the Chelsea Hotel.” Around the same time, the foundation learned that other artworks had been removed from the hotel under Chetrit’s new management, which bought the property in 2011. (You can see a photo of “Dutch Masters” hanging in the Chelsea Hotel lobby in November 2007 here.) […]

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