“The writer [Thomas Wolfe] spent the last years of his life at the Chelsea. In Room 829, he was known to have produced the manuscript for the novels ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’ and ‘The Web and the Rock,’ which were published after he died in 1938.
“He drew great inspiration from roaming the hallways, but in May 1938, he was looking for an excuse to leave as the summer heat grew so intense that ‘he could smell all seven million inhabitants’ of New York, Sherill Tippins wrote in ‘Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel.’
“After accepting an invitation to speak at Purdue University, she wrote, he spent his last few days at the hotel writing his speech, about his belief that, amid the Depression and the rise of Nazism in Germany, he had a responsibility to society to inspire hope. He called the speech ‘You Can’t Go Home Again.’
“Several months later during his travels, he died of tuberculosis that migrated to his brain.”