Andy Warhol's Chelsea Hotel door. Image courtesy of Guernsey's

Warhol and Pollock's Chelsea Hotel doors are up for sale

A former resident of the famous Manhattan flop house rescued its doors and is now selling them off for charity

"They just let anybody in over there," wrote Andy Warhol in a 1978 diary entry, after reading about Sid Vicious stabbing his girlfriend to death at the Chelsea Hotel. "That hotel is dangerous, it seems like somebody’s killed there once a week."

Warhol had a hand in that notoriety, shooting his seamy, avant-garde film Chelsea Girls there in 1966; yet the Chelsea Hotel, which offered cheap accommodation in what was then an artsy Manhattan neighbourhood, was always a little scandalous. During the 20th century Jimi Hendrix, Willam S Boroughs, Yves Klein, Willem de Kooning, Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan all hung out there. Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road there, Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyysey and Dylan Thomas breathed his last there.


Jackson Pollock's Chelsea Hotel door. Image courtesy of Guernsey's
Jackson Pollock's Chelsea Hotel door. Image courtesy of Guernsey's

The hotel has been closed undergoing renovations for a long time but is due to reopen next year. However, just after its partial closure in 2011, one enterprising former resident rescued the hotel's doors from the builders' skip and has now consigned them to Guernsey's auction house in New York.

Next Thursday (12 April), Guernsey's will sell the doors which once –the auction house says – served as the portal to rooms rented by to Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Bob Dylan and many other prominent figures.

In their current state they might not be the sort of thing you'd happily hang in your home without telling everyone their back story. They do however, possesses a battered charm, and a portion of  proceeds from the sale all goes to a great cause: the non-profit charity City Harvest which helps to feed homeless New Yorkers. Bids start at $5,000.

Meanwhile, for more on Pollock get this book; for more on Andy take a look at these; and for more on feeding the hungry in our big cities, get Bread is Gold.