If you watched CBS Sunday Morning News yesterday morning, you saw Patti Smith returning to the Chelsea Hotel, standing in the now artless lobby, and then visiting the room she said she stayed in with Robert Mapplethorpe in 1969. She remarks that it’s just like it was when they lived there.
But it seems that the Chetrits and architect Gene Kaufman fixed room 204 up special for Patti, moving in furniture from elsewhere to make it look like the room had recently been inhabited. Tenant activist Arthur Nash snapped a photo of the unoccupied room two years before Patti’s visit.
Ironically, the only reason room 204 wasn’t gutted, like all the other unoccupied rooms, is that it was being used as a dump for the toxic waste from the demolition of the Chelsea Hotel!