The Chelsea Hotel has been closed -- and re-opened as a doughnut shop. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan used to be the home of bohemian counter-culture. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Arthur Miller called the Chelsea home at one point, and Sid Vicious’s girlfriend was murdered there. Now, this storied hotel is set to become the second home of a popular doughnut shop.

The history of the Chelsea Hotel

The Chelsea Hotel is a landmark in the Manhattan area of New York City. Built in 1883, the hotel has served as “home base” for a wide variety of notorious figures. The most infamous crime to happen at the Chelsea Hotel was when punk rocker Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols allegedly stabbed his girlfriend to death. The Chelsea Hotel has also played host to live-in heroin dealers, had concierge drug delivery and has been bleeding permanent residents and renters for years. For the last two years, the Chelsea Hotel has been rotating through owners and managers, and it has finally been sold off.

Doughnut Planet opening new Chelsea Hotel store

The Doughnut Planet is a New York doughnut shop that now has two locations. On Valentine’s Day, Doughnut Planet opened a new location in what used to be the Chelsea Hotel. Rather than converting the hotel to a stark, industrial feel like their other store, the owners said they tried to maintain a semi-traditional feel in the older building. The ground-level store uses only one level of the multi-level hotel, and there is no word on the possible uses of the remaining floors of the historic building.

Is the Chelsea Hotel doomed?

The Chelsea Hotel is the second major punk-rock New York landmark to close in the past few years. In 2006, famed storefront club CBGB closed after losing its lease. Residents of the Chelsea Hotel spoke up trying to save the historic landmark, but years of misuse finally took their toll on the building. Multi-level, combined-use buildings that have storefronts on the street level and housing on the upper levels are considered a strong basis for downtown culture, and the Doughnut Planet store may well be the first step in converting the Chelsea Hotel into an upstanding downtown citizen.

Sources

New York Times: www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/nyregion/08chelsea.html
Wikipedia on CBGB: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBGB

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