West Village guitar shop transforms old New York building material into guitars

August 11, 2011 11:53AM

From left: Hotel Chelsea, Bob Dylan and a Carmine Street Guitar created out of old building material

One guitar shop in the West Village has given discarded construction
material from the Hotel Chelsea and other famous New York buildings a
new life in the form of specially constructed guitars, DNAinfo
reported. Carmine Street Guitars owner Rick Kelly builds his
instruments from what he refers to as the “bones of old New York City,”
or white pine boards obtained from building renovation efforts. A year
and a half ago, Kelly got a hold of beams from the Hotel Chelsea that were being thrown away. For him, these are a part
of New York history as the beams have been seen by the “the artists, Bowery
bums, winos, gangs of New York,” he said. Earlier this year, he got material
from the shut-down Village pub Chumleys, and used the
wood from both sites to construct guitars for former Hotel Chelsea
resident Bob Dylan. “[Dylan] loved the combination of Chumley’s body
wood and Chelsea Hotel neck wood,” Kelly said. He added that Patti
Smith, Lou Reed and former Hall & Oates guitarist G.E. Smith also have
guitars created from New York buildings. He started his
unique craft after director Jim Jarmusch renovated his Bowery
apartment and gave leftover wood to Kelly, who transformed the material
into guitars for Jarmusch. [DNAinfo]