Over the last couple of years, developers have been a hot streak in transforming historic downtown towers into hotels, apartments and student housing, and one of the most anticipated in the latest slew of adaptive reuse projects is the hotel reboot of the old Chicago Athletic Association building on Michigan Avenue. Simply dubbed the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, the totally restored 122 year old Venetian Gothic building and its 241 rooms are now officially open for business starting today. Designed by Henry Ives Cobb and completed in 1893, the eleven story building operated as an elite private men's club until 2007. After a few years of uncertainty, the historic building was saved in 2012 when Geolo Capital (Commune Hotels & Resorts) and AJ Capital Partners announced their intention to purchase it and transform the former men's club into a hotel.
Similar to other projects in the Commune Hotels portfolio, the new Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is high on design and amenities. Chicago's Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture was tapped to lead the major renovation effort while New York's Roman and Williams outfitted the building's interior. The finished product is a hotel that pays homage to its past while feeling very modern and new. Many of the building's elaborate architectural details were preserved, as the ornate millwork and tiled floors throughout the interior and the stained glass and cast-iron exterior relief have all been restored. However, one of the greatest highlights of the new hotel is its rooftop restaurant's deck space that offers sweeping views of Michigan Avenue and Millennium. Other food and beverage offerings from Chicago's Land & Sea Dept. and New York's Shake Shack can be found on the building's first and second levels.
While the Virgin Hotel at the Old Dearborn Bank Building and the Hampton Inn at the old Chicago Motor Club Building are similar to the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel due to their adaptive reuse nature, the latter is certainly aiming to compete with some of the city's higher end hotels. Rooms at the new hotel start around $329 per night.
·Swanky Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Opening This Spring [Curbed Chicago]
·11 Historic Buildings Getting New Life as Hotels & Apartments [Curbed Chicago]
·Hotel Boom Town archives [Curbed Chicago]