Roman & Williams to Design Hotel in Landmark Chicago Athletic Association Building

Midwest
The Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (C. William Brubaker / Courtesy UIC Digital Archives; Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois)

The Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (C. William Brubaker / Courtesy UIC Digital Archives; Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois)

The landmarked Chicago Athletic Association will soon be home to a boutique hotel designed by Roman and Williams, whose Ace Hotel in New York opened to acclaim in 2009.

Developed by AJ Capital Partners and Commune Hotels & Resorts, the 240-room hotel will include a large ballroom converted from the existing gym and running track, as well as a large greenhouse on the roof. The historic second-floor drawing room will serve as a “living room for a new generation,” Roman and Williams said in a statement, while a new sports room/pool hall/bar will call back to the Athletic Association’s past.

Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois, left; Courtesy Landmarks Illinois, center & right)

Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois, left; Courtesy Landmarks Illinois, center & right)

“Our reverence for this monumental building cannot be overstated, but we want to breathe a new life into it, to care for it without treating it like a relic,” the firm stated in a press release. Located at 12 S. Michigan Ave., the Venetian Gothic building opened in 1893. Architect Henry Ives Cobb imbued the classy lakefront-facing club with a facade reminiscent of the Doges Palace in Venice. Ornate marble details flow throughout the interior.

The project is expected to open in late 2014.

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