VANISHED: July 2007
Walked by the Allerton in Chelsea today to find one of New York’s last welfare hotels is being gutted. According to this report, the one-time home of Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith was sold to a developer for $17 million. The demolition crew says it's turning into a swank hotel. In the pic I took below, you can just see the ornate stair railing and a chandelier still hanging in the background:
The Allerton has been called a “tinderbox for the homeless” by the New York Times: "For decades, Chelsea residents have tried to stop the noise, crime, drugs and harassment they say come from tenants at the Allerton Hotel, at West 22d Street and Eighth Avenue. And a recent murder there, some say, is proof the situation is getting out of hand. ‘The Allerton has probably been the biggest problem that lower Chelsea has had for as long as I can remember,’ said City Councilman Thomas K. Duane, whose district includes the hotel."