Gallery> Tour the rehabbed Chicago Motor Club, a Henry Ford–era art deco mecca for motorists

Architecture Interiors Midwest News Preservation
The new Hampton Inn Chicago Michigan Avenue, which occupies the former Chicago Motor Club building. (Kenny Kim Photography)

The new Hampton Inn Chicago Michigan Avenue, which occupies the former Chicago Motor Club building. (Kenny Kim Photography)

You can credit Chicago’s recent boom in boutique hotels with revving up an historic 16-story building once home to the Chicago Motor Club, which rolled back onto the market in May as a Hampton Inn.

As AN wrote at the project’s inception, the design draws heavily on 68 East Wacker Place’s history. Perhaps most notably, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture retained a 29-foot mural by Chicago artist John Warner Norton that suggests cross-country driving routes from 1927. Mural restoration expert Dmitri Rybchenkov, of the Chicago firm Restoration Division, led those efforts.

In addition to the mural, other details recall the building’s original identity as a motorist’s mecca. To wit, an original 1928 Ford Model A overlooks the lobby. Interior designers with Gettys One also worked to restore many of the art deco details originally included by architects Holabird & Root.

Vacant for over a decade, the building was destined for demolition before developer John T. Murphy, president of Murphy Asset Management, cobbled together historic preservation tax credits and financing from the Hampton Inn hotel chain to revive the short yet handsome structure.

Via Kenny Kim Photography, take a look inside the renovated Chicago Motor Club building:

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