Doors from New York City's famed Chelsea Hotel head to auction

New York City's storied Chelsea Hotel isn't famous for its rooms, but for the people who slept inside them. The gritty, sometimes sketchy, establishment housed everyone from writer Mark Twain to painter Jackson Pollock and musician Jimi Hendrix. 

Next week, some remarkable artifacts from the Chelsea's heyday are going up for auction.

Jim Georgiou CBS News

Inside those rooms New York City's dreamers, creators and movement makers crafted a mecca for artistic freedom. Jim Georgiou moved there in 2001 and called it home for 10 years. He is now trying to hold on to all of its memories.
"You know, there's – there's folklore. There's fantasy, to a certain degree. ... We do know that Edie Sedgwick was in 105, and that Andy Warhol shot 'Chelsea Girls' in the room with her. We do know that Dylan was in 211 with Sara," Georgiou told CBS News' Vladimir Duthiers.

In 2012, the iconic hotel closed and new owners started to renovate. Georgiu contacted them to see what they were planning to do with the hotel's doors and learned they were planning to throw them out.  

"It was an impulse protective thing to wanna get the doors. But in our heart of hearts, we knew they were something special," he said. "Living history. And I lived there, and there was a sentiment. I was living on the street at the time, and this was, you know, my way of preserving a magic that was falling away really, really fast. ... The doors are symbolic, I mean they're representative of what happens behind them."

Behind them, legendary artists created pieces of cultural gold.

"Jon Bon Jovi – a month away from being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – wrote 'Midnight in Chelsea' in the room that we have the door to," Arlan Ettinger, co-owner of Guernsey's Auction House, said.  

52 of the Chelsea Hotel's doors hang in a New York City gallery.   CBS News

"I certainly knew growing up about the Chelsea and how it was a magnet to creative – the creative geniuses of our lifetime. The most interesting, accomplished, controversial people," he said.

The 52 doors recovered from the hotel are now on display in a New York City gallery. For Georgiu, the doors represent "freedom."

"Because the hotel was a fortress where everyone's trying to work out the way society works," he said.

Georgiou never left the neighborhood. He has become a fixture in the community selling old records on the corner of 23rd Street and 7th Avenue. He hopes the doors end up in places where the "spirit of what they represent will be appreciated" by the most amount of people – people who he hopes will not only enjoy what the doors are, but fantasize about what they once were.