This spring crews are expected to break ground a new hotel on the Hyde Park campus of the University of Chicago. The development will represent the third location for the Study brand, a college-oriented hospitality company that operates locations at Yale and Philadelphia’s University City, between Drexel and Penn.
Chicago’s 12-story project will rise along the Midway Plaisance at 1225 E. 60th Street, just steps from the university’s under-construction David M. Rubenstein Forum conference center. While its developers are confident that the demand for a full-service hotel exists, fitting the new building into the famous architecture of the South Side campus will be a bit of balancing act.
“We selected Holabird & Root as our architect for their long history in Chicago and their ability design with functionality and context of the environment in mind,” Study Hotels and Hospitality 3 founder Paul McGowan told Curbed. “The building looks like it belongs on the Midway but also forward-thinking in its style.”
The design will take cues from the historic campus, but perhaps in not so obvious ways. “It’s more subtle than something like just painting the walls in school colors,” added McGowan. “We’ll stock bookshelves with authors who attended the university and partner with local art organizations to make it feel like an extension of the school and the neighborhood.”
The project’s 167 guest rooms—although not quite ready to be shown in rendering—will help recruit students, professors, and doctors as well as accommodate school donors and visiting parents, said McGowan. Each room will feature a leather chair and ottoman, the ideal situation for reading.
Although the upcoming hotel will be close to the proposed Jackson Park site of the Obama Presidential Center, McGowan stated that the project didn’t factor into his company’s initial decision to expand into the area. “We didn’t know much about the Obama library when we started planning,” said the developer, “but we can see large groups convening there and bringing more people to the campus.”
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in May or June. The Study at the University of Chicago plans to open its doors to guests in the first quarter of 2021, according to McGowan. The project is the second boutique hotel to come to the area in recent years, joining the Sophy Hyde Park, which opened along 53rd Street last summer.