Architecturally Significant Hotels for the Chicago Biennial Crowd
The first-ever Chicago Architecture Biennial starts today, running through January 3. If you want to join the thousands of design enthusiasts and architects flocking to the Windy City for the occasion, consider staying at a place with the architectural chops to rival your own.
Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel
Conveniently located next to Grant Park, this circa-1910 hotel was designed by the legendary Marshall and Fox firm, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its exemplary neoclassical Beaux-Arts architecture houses an impressive collection of more than 1,600 contemporary artworks, mostly by Chicago artists.
This downtown boutique hotel takes up residence in the Reliance Building, one of the world’s first glass-and-steel-frame skyscrapers, built in 1895 by celebrated architects Daniel Burnham, John Root and Charles Atwood. After a summer facelift, this Kimpton property is an old-meets-new National Historic Landmark.
When it was known as the Bismarck Hotel, which opened in 1894 by the Eitel brothers, this property hosted VIP parties (think for the likes of Oscar Mayer and Duncan Hines), and was the site of the first legal draft pour in Chicago in 1933. Today the glammy Kimpton property is reveling in a $15 million renovation, which makes the Art Deco details in its rooms really shine.
InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Originally built in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, a luxury men's club for members of the Shrine organization, this opulent hotel is now known for its storied design. Note the iconic dome, reminiscent of Middle Eastern mosque architecture, and a stone façade embellished with Egyptian-style reliefs.
The Langham Hotel
The Langham sits in the former IBM Plaza building, which was designed by pioneering modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The skyscraper offers postcard-worthy views of the skyline, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan.
Originally built as a hat factory for D.B. Fisk & Co. in 1912 and later converted to the Oxford House Hotel in 1958, this historic, AAA Four Diamond property was completely renovated in 1998 as an adaptive reuse project in the heart of the downtown Loop.
In the 1800s, Chicago magnate Potter Palmer gifted his new bride the ebullien Palmer House. It burned down not 13 days later, but was rebuilt and reopened in 1873, and decorated with the largest collection of impressionist art outside of France. It's played host to U.S. presidents, Charles Dickens and Frank Sinatra, and has recently undergone a whopping $170 million renovation.
A proud member of the Historic Hotels of America, this Beaux-Arts hotel overlooks Grant Park and Lake Michigan, situating itself as one of the city’s most illustrious addresses since 1927.
The Warwick Allerton Hotel
This 25-story, Jazz-era skyscraper sits smack dab on the Magnificent Mile.
Dating back to 1926, this service-oriented hotel was the brainchild of Ian Schrager, who transformed the Gold Coast's famed Ambassador East Hotel and its historic Pump Room restaurant.
Built in 1927 and recently renovated, the AAA Four Diamond, European-style Talbott Hotel is celebrating the city's inaugural Biennial with a special package: your choice of three different architecture tours and a special keepsake book highlighting Chicago’s greatest architectural works.