River North’s 26-story Dana Hotel and Spa located at 660 N. State Street could double in size if plans to build a glass and concrete addition just west of the existing structure are realized. Based on a pair of renderings and a corresponding description appearing on the website of Chicago-based Eckenhoff Saunders Architects (ESA), the so-called "Dana2" concept would add 216 new guest rooms. The proposal also includes new street level restaurant space plus an express elevator to the Dana’s popular rooftop lounge Vertigo, which will also be expanded under the plan.
While the proposal sounds like a winner when its merits are weighed in a vacuum, the plan would also eradicate three vintage rowhouses on Erie. While not necessarily worthy of landmarking in their own right, these types of buildings have become increasingly rare in River North as the popular downtown neighborhood continues to grow — often at the expense of its little remaining historic character. Considering that the Dana sits directly south of a surface parking lot, the prospect of losing the 100+ year old buildings is that much more frustrating.
Naturally the Dana's phase 2 addition would require the acquisition said adjacent properties as well as approval from the city of Chicago to become reality. At this point, it’s unclear how far along the project is with regards to those important requisite steps.
- On the boards: Dana2 [Eckenhoff Saunders Architects]
- New Concerns Over River North's Disappearing Rowhomes [Curbed Chicago]
- River North archives [Curbed Chicago]