When we last heard that the city's Economic Development Corporation was looking for suitors to turn the Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital into a luxury hotel, it was on April Fool's, so we assumed the whole thing was a gag. Not so! In this week's New York magazine there's a huge article on Bellevue, including this awesome description of the old psych ward: "for 78 years has stood, gloomy and gated, on 30th and First, the Bellevue made infamous in movies and nightmares, the forbidding destination for so many celebrated and notorious New Yorkers that it stands as a chilling landmark: the Chelsea Hotel of the mad." But will it become the official hotel of the mad? Here's an update:
When the news broke, there was an initial wave of you-gotta-be-kidding. They weren’t. On the contrary, according to spokeswoman Janel Patterson, the EDC received so many proposals by the June deadline that it spent the summer winnowing them down.Well, the hotel market is kind of in the crapper, and we're not sure who's financing insane-asylums-turned-boutique-hotels nowadays, but we say make it happen!
· Checkout Time at the Asylum [NYM]