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In Pictures: The Chicago Athletic Association

Hotel Chatter staff, devoted sleuths of all things upscale lodging, journeyed into the dusty recesses of lapsed luxury when they got a backstage tour of the former Chicago Athletic Association building at 12 S Michigan. The long-vacant Venetian-Gothic landmark was bought by an investment group including Hyatt heir John Pritzker in July. Interestingly, the planned 240-room "boutique hotel" will operate under a non-Hyatt banner: Commune/Thompson Hotels. No specific buzz-enhancing name has been arrived at just yet, but the $20M renovation of this tremendous architectural asset will probably sell itself. Click through for the awesome gilded interiors of the one-time hub of high society. There's work to be done, but these old bones are beyond reproach. Opening is slated for winter 2014. [Hotel Chatter, previously]