While this month’s meeting of the Commission on Landmarks granted protective status to the Essex Inn and gave the nod to its upcoming 620-foot residential addition, the meeting also established guidelines for a new outdoor rooftop space sought by the University Club of Chicago. Located at 76 E Monroe in the 1909 Gothic building penned by Martin Roche, the private club is looking to construct its addition on top of the adjacent Theodore Ascher and Company Building at 30 S Michigan Ave. The property in question not only falls under the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, but is also part of a trio of landmarked turn-of-the-century buildings referred to as the Gage Group.
The project, designed by Chicago architecture firm Antunovich and Associates, will have to follow many of the same constraints placed upon Cindy’s rooftop bar that was recently added to the landmarked Chicago Athletic Association located just several addresses to the north. For example, in order to minimize visibility from Michigan Avenue any new structure will have to be set back 28 feet from 30 S Michigan’s edge with its glass railing encroaching no closer than 4 feet from the existing parapet. Offering impressive views of Grant Park and the lake, the new amenity will allow the University Club to compete with other private terraces along the Cultural Mile such as those belonging to the Cliff Dwellers and Chicago Club.