Countless iconic artists wrote some of their most famous work during their stay at the hotel residence. Even during the '90s a 10m2 room was about $500 per month; today that’s the daily rate for a 20m2 Studio Queen room. Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, Mark Twain, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsberg, Thomas Wolf, Andy Warhol, Leonard Cohen, William S. Burroughs, Arthur C. Clarke – the guest list is long. Why did Hotel Chelsea become such a popular hub for artists towards the mid twentieth century? It is a residence hotel: each room was an independent apartment, some had an outside shared bathroom and kitchen and some were fully equipped including laundry facilities, so it was an affordable solution to living in Manhattan especially without the need of so-called referrals or bank loans that long-term property rental requires.
Furthermore, longtime manager, Stanley Bard, who passed away in 2017, was known for his eccentric and charismatic approach making the Chelsea Hotel a unique community where tenants could just wander into whatever party they wanted to. Some tenants, such as Patti Smith, struggling with the monthly expenses offered paintings in lieu of rent, art which today can be seen hanging across the hotel’s halls. The railing of the hotel stairs is one of those characteristic places you have probably seen in some films. Bard pushed the hotel onto film and TV, making it into the mainstream with the '70s TV show An American Family and some lesser known, cult art films from the likes of Andy Warhol and Abel Ferrara. The biopic Sid and Nancy starring Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb was also partly shot in the hotel.