Explore the Famous Hotel Chelsea’s Last Bohemian Private Homes

Stefanie Waldek

New York may always be changing, but vestiges of the past linger in small pockets of the city. One such time capsule—at least for the time being—is the Hotel Chelsea. Completed in 1885, the Chelsea, as it’s known, has long blurred the line between an apartment building and a hotel, with both long-term residents and temporary guests staying in its spaces. Most famously, it has a reputation as an enclave for creative types: It’s impressive list of famous occupants include Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas, Arthur C. Clarke, Stanley Kubrick (who wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey with Clarke here), Jane Fonda, Édith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Leonard Cohen (who wrote "Chelsea Hotel" and "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" about the property), Janis Joplin, Madonna, Diego Rivera, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Andy Warhol (whose Chelsea Girls film, which was shot here, features residents), just to name a few.

But the 21st century hasn’t been kind to the Chelsea’s few dozen remaining long-term occupants, as a slate of new owners has attempted to oust them and rehab the building into a modern hotel. Those residents and their artistic homes are the subject of a new book, Hotel Chelsea: Living in the Last Bohemian Haven by photographer Colin Miller and writer Ray Mock ($50, The Monacelli Press).

“This project is about how creative people forge a place for themselves in the midst of turmoil. The photographs in this book capture a moment in this process and frame an instant of a city in constant transition,” writes Miller in his photographer’s note for the book. “Gone are the times when those living alternative lifestyles could find shelter here for meager rents. The spaces that can accommodate artists who have yet to achieve broad success have long since moved far from the Chelsea. But those artists who found that here have persisted; they’re still living creative and important lives.”

The Hotel Chelsea.
Filmmaker and photographer Tony Notarberardino has also lived in the Chelsea since the mid-’90s, creating a colorful space dedicated to his mesmerizing collection of objects.
Former club girl and model Man-Laï’s residence is filled with decor elements that combine her Belgian and Chinese heritages, acquired over the nearly 40 years she’s lived in the Chelsea.
Colleen Weinstein and her late husband, Arthur, an artist and club owner, raised their daughter Dahlia in the Chelsea. Artworks fill the home.
Event producer Susanne Bartsch is known for her extravagant parties and avant-garde fashion sense. Her home in the Chelsea has interiors to match her larger-than-life persona.
Perhaps you can guess Suzanne Lipschutz’s profession by her maximalist interiors—she’s an antiques dealer and wallpaper expert.

Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest