A Look at the Chelsea Hotel’s Wildly Fascinating History

10. longtime resident Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Chelsea, hosting collaborative meetings with Stanley Kubrick in his suite while the director was making his classic film of the same name, the works developing simultaneously. Both came out in 1968.

11. Thomas Wolfe was 6-foot-7 and did a lot of work leaning rather than sitting while toiling away on various works at the Chelsea, including his posthumously released novel You Can’t Go Home again. He wrote in shifts, including midnight to 4 am, and his assistant dele would arrive each morning to type up whatever he’d scribbled out the previous day. The North Carolina native left the Chelsea for the final time after accepting a speaking invitation at Purdue in Indiana, after which he planned to spend the summer of 1938 on the West Coast. He fell ill with a brain abscess in Seattle and died after being transported back across the US to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He was 37.

12. Before on the road was published, Jack Kerouac and fellow writer Gore Vidal had a one-night stand at the Chelsea in 1953. They registered under their real names and, according to Tippins, assured the desk clerk the ledger they signed would be worth money one day.

13. Bob Dylan is said to have written “Visions of Johanna,” which ended up on his 1966 double album blonde on blondewhile he was living at the Chelsea with wife Sara Lownds. And in his 1975 song “Sara,” written when their marriage was foundering, he remembered: “Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel / Writin’ ‘Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’ for you.”

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