Courtesy of the Hotel Chelsea Blog

Real estate investor Joseph Chetrit now holds the keys to the legendary Hotel Chelsea, after getting an $85 million loan and closing the deal last week. The hotel already stopped taking reservations, and no guests are left in the building... but long time residents still have no idea what's going to happen to them. In the meantime, the new owner has taken down all of the art, in what appears to be an attempt to rip the heart and soul from the place. What you see above is the current state of the lobby, which used to be adorned with layers of artwork that have accumulated throughout the years (the art has also slowly been disappearing from the building's stunning staircase).

The lobby is now a ghost of its former self, but maybe Chetrit plans to put it all back together after a little paint job? So far he hasn't stepped out from behind the curtain to reveal his plan for the building, but it's not looking good. One resident told us this morning, "There still has been no official communication with residents beyond a letter which told residents where to go to pay their rent. Residents whose personal property was removed from the walls are being told to send a certified letter with proof of ownership to the Chelsea Dynasty, LLC."