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Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel
by Sherill Tippins

Published: 2013-12-03
Hardcover : 480 pages
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The next best thing to having a room key to the Chelsea Hotel during each of its famous—and infamous—decades

The Chelsea Hotel, since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, has been an icon of American invention: a cultural dynamo and haven for the counterculture, all ...
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Introduction

The next best thing to having a room key to the Chelsea Hotel during each of its famous—and infamous—decades

The Chelsea Hotel, since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, has been an icon of American invention: a cultural dynamo and haven for the counterculture, all in one astonishing building. Sherill Tippins, author of the acclaimed February House, delivers a masterful and endlessly entertaining history of the Chelsea and of the successive generations of artists who have cohabited and created there, among them John Sloan, Edgar Lee Masters, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Sam Shepard, Sid Vicious, and Dee Dee Ramone. Now as legendary as the artists it has housed and the countless creative collaborations it has sparked, the Chelsea has always stood as a mystery as well: Why and how did this hotel become the largest and longest-lived artists’ community in the known world? Inside the Dream Palace is the intimate and definitive story.

Today the Chelsea stands poised in limbo between two futures: Will this symbol of New York's artistic invention be converted to a profit-driven business catering to the top one percent? Or will the Chelsea be given a rebirth through painstaking effort by the community that loves it? Set against these two competing possibilities, Inside the Dream Palace could not be more fascinating or timely.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2013: By the mid-nineteenth century, New York City was broke and divided, its coffers emptied by corrupt politicians and a vast chasm separating rich from the vast masses of the poor. Architect Philip Gengembre Hubert dreamed of reclaiming the city from the opportunists, reuniting its citizens within egalitarian communities of art and commerce, mingling all economic classes and vocations. And when his signature achievement, the Hotel Chelsea, opened in 1844, it immediately became a beacon for artists and inspiration, the spirits of creativity and collaboration literally blueprinted into its Victorian bricks and gables. With Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel, Sherill Tippins has written the definitive biography of the New York landmark. Tippins's Chelsea lives and breathes along with the mind-blowing roster of (often infamous) geniuses and eccentrics who haunt its chambers. Dylan Thomas died at the Chelsea, and Bob Dylan wrote Blonde on Blonde there. Warhol's Superstars dined in its halls, and Dee Dee Ramone detoxed in its junk-friendly confines. True to Hubert's vision, artists worked and trysted (and recombined) in wild pairings: Sam Shepard and Patti Smith; Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe; Jack Kerouac and Gore Vidal; Leonard Cohen and Janis Joplin; Dylan and Edie Sedgwick; Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick; and, of course, Sid and Nancy. Inside the Dream Palace stands as a fitting monument to the hotel, its misfit denizens, and the art that it nurtured and inspired. --Jon Foro

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by robandjenbailey (see profile) 10/07/17

 
  "Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York's Legendary Chelsea Hotel"by Susanmoore (see profile) 04/28/16

This book sounded like it would be interesting, but it turned out to be torturous to read. Instead of truly exploring the themes of building a community in which individuals could be free to pursue their... (read more)

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