The firm that’s leading the renovation of New York City’s legendary Hotel Chelsea will present a plan to preserve and restore the hotel’s exterior to the Landmarks Preservation Commission in April.
“The Hotel Chelsea is a landmark in every sense of the word,” said Gene Kaufman, founder of Gene Kaufman Architect, P.C. “We are honoring the long, storied history of this singular building while ensuring that it survives and thrives for generations to come.”
The 12-story red-brick Hotel Chelsea, originally designed by Hubert, Pirsson & Co., was the tallest building in New York City when it was opened in 1884. It was also one of the very first private residential cooperatives. After financial struggles for the co-op into bankruptcy it reopened as a hotel, welcoming guests from every walk of life including famous and infamous artists, musicians, writers and characters.
“Since the Chelsea’s completion in the 1880s there have been a series of alterations to the exterior many of which have become some of the most recognizable parts of the building,” Kaufman said. “Our restoration plan retains original elements of the landmark façade, such as the signature ironwork balconies, while also incorporating some of the most beloved non-original features such as the hotel’s iconic neon sign.”
As part of the plan, the windows on the upper floors of the hotel will be restored to be in keeping with the 1884 design while the ground-level retail storefronts will be returned to their heyday of the 1930s/40s era. The canopy and entryway will be brought back to their original character, and the famous “Hotel Chelsea” sign will be restored and preserved.