As another week goes by, yet another proposal to replace historic low-rise buildings in River North with something tall, new, and shiny breaks cover. Based on a newsletter from Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) emailed to residents on Friday afternoon, developers are now looking to demolish a trio of older rowhouses at 12-22 W. Erie to construct a 15-story hotel with 178 guest rooms and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant space.
Similar to the buildings threatened by the construction of a 725-foot mixed-use skyscraper slated for the corner of Wabash and Superior, the cluster of old structures on Erie probably don’t quite meet the criteria for landmark protection based on historical or architectural merit alone. They are, however, becoming increasingly rare in River North as the popular downtown neighborhood continues to grow—often at the expense of its historic character.
Clues that the site was in play for future redevelopment first surfaced last year when conceptual renderings showing the buildings replaced by a westward expansion of the neighboring 26-story Dana Hotel appeared on the website of Chicago-based Eckenhoff Saunders Architects. The project has since been pulled from the ESA servers.
Chicago-based Neighborhood Development Corp. will present its plan for the site at a public meeting hosted by Alderman Reilly and the River North Residents Association on Tuesday, March 28th at 6:00 PM at the James Hotel at 55 E. Ontario Street.
- Renderings show River North hotel doubling in size [Curbed Chicago]
- Preservationists want a new landmark district in River North [Curbed Chicago]