Only the red brick facade of the Cheslea Hotel is protected by an official landmark status. Inside? Chaos reigns. In the past few days, the new owners of the mythical Chelsea Hotel have gutted the East Wing where William S. Burroughs once lived, leaving it in piles of debris and shattered corpses of former walls.

The new owners have fired most of the staff and stopped accepting reservations, while the hotel’s prized art has been slowly, steadily disappearing. So much for “keeping the uniqueness of this hotel.” (Photo of pre-renovation lobby and the gutted East wing: The Real Deal)