The legendary Chelsea Hotel has seen all kinds of unpleasantness over the course of its history, but never, to the best of our knowledge, a coup. Living With Legends, an insider blog written by an occupant, breaks the news that the hotel’s managing partner, Stanley Bard, is being pushed out by its board of directors. Bard’s part in shaping the Chelsea Hotel myth is hard to overstate: He has lorded it over the grand brick heap since back when Leonard Cohen canoodled there with Janis Joplin. Adding to the uncertainty about the hotel’s future is the fact that its ownership structure is a bit of a secret: It was originally split by three families, but Bard’s is the only one that still manages it hands-on; the other two are represented by a board. Now, at that board’s bidding, an “unnamed management company” will take over Stanley’s day-to-day duties, and we do not like the sound of that one bit. Which comes first, you think: the condo conversion or the “Chelsea Hotel West” in Vegas?
UPDATE: Rubenstein emails with news on the new managers, Richard Born and Ira Drukler, who are apparently “two of New York City’s most successful and acclaimed hoteliers.” Stanley Bard will still be involved in management, the announcement says. Full press release after the jump.
Board-Directed Coup Topples Chelsea Hotel’s Famed Manager Stanley Bard [Living With Legends]
For Immediate Release
BD HOTELS TAPPED TO MANAGE LEGENDARY CHELSEA HOTEL
Landmark Hotel to Be Preserved, Restored and Reinvigorated
NEW YORK, June 18, 2007 – The Board of Directors of the renowned Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan today announced that it has entered into a management agreement with BD Hotels NY, LLC. Led by Richard Born and Ira Drukier, two of New York City’s most successful and acclaimed hoteliers, BD Hotels has been retained to better preserve, restore and reinvigorate the Chelsea Hotel.
“For many, the Chelsea Hotel is one of New York City’s most cherished and legendary landmarks,” said Marlene Krauss, M.D., a Board member and the daughter of Julius Krauss, who purchased the hotel in 1945 along with his partners David Bard and Joseph Gross. “We are excited to be working with the BD Hotel team in restoring and rejuvenating the Chelsea. After conducting an extensive search, we are convinced that there is no one better suited to the dual challenge of pursuing an ongoing modernization while at the same time ensuring that the hotel’s historic charm and character is both preserved and enhanced.”
BD Hotel’s responsibilities as part of its initial three-year management agreement will include managing the Chelsea Hotel’s day-to-day operations, budgeting and accounting, long-term planning, developing and implementing a coordinated renovation plan, and overseeing the street-front retail program.
BD Hotels will work with The Chelsea Hotel to improve customer service and amenities; create more inviting and livelier common areas; continue to modernize the hotel’s major mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and better activate the Chelsea Hotels historic spaces.
“We are honored by the opportunity to burnish and build upon The Chelsea Hotel’s unique artistic presence. Given its fabled past and unique status, the Chelsea Hotel can once again become a crown jewel of New York City,” said Mr. Drukier.
Long-time Chelsea Hotel manager Stanley Bard, who has been a fixture at the Chelsea for more than 50 years, is expected to have a role at the hotel as will his son David Bard, who also is a member of the Board of Directors.
The 12-story, 250 room Chelsea Hotel was originally built in 1883 as Manhattan’s first cooperative apartment. It was the tallest building in New York until 1902. Located at 222 West 23rd Street, it was converted into a hotel and residence in 1905. The landmarked hotel is recognized as an American cultural icon and is renowned for the artists, writers and musicians who have lived and created art there, including Sir Arthur Clarke; Leonard Cohen; Bob Dylan; Stanley Kubrick; Arthur Miller; Joni Mitchell; Dee Dee Ramone; Larry Rivers; Dylan Thomas; Mark Twain, and Tennessee Williams.