Kaufman plans for Hotel Chelsea revamp revealed

Gene Kaufman Architect, who is leading the restoration of the facade of the Hotel Chelsea, will present its plan for the landmarked exterior to the Landmarks Preservation Commission this April, and provided The Real Deal with a rendering (see above).

“The Hotel Chelsea is a landmark in every sense of the word,” said Kaufman, a prolific architect who heads GKA. “We are honoring the long, storied history of this singular building while ensuring that it survives and thrives.

The storied Hotel Chelsea has seen a number of controversies since it was purchased last year by Joseph Chetrit, whose renovations have spawned a lawsuit due to environmental concerns and protests from unions after the owner opted to use non-union labor.

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“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.”

The windows on the upper floors of the hotel will be restored to be in keeping with the 1884 design, according to the statement from GKA, while the ground-level retail storefronts will be restored in keeping with the look of the Chelsea in the 1930s and 1940s.

The now-iconic “Hotel Chelsea” sign will be restored and preserved, the statement said. — Guelda Voien