Cedar Tower Axed

The proposed hotel tower to be built at the site of the Cedar Hotel in the Gold Coast is dead.

We’ve been following the attempted renaissance of the Cedar Hotel/Hotel Cedar (1118 North State Street) for a while (here, and elsewhere).  The most recent plan included plopping a 20-story hotel on top of the current block right in the heart of Viagra Triangle.

Who killed it?  Alderman Reilly.  He’s started the process for changing the zoning of this parcel to something more modest.

Reilly believes that a 250-foot-tall hotel isn’t exactly the right fit for the neighborhood.  While it can be argued that there are plenty of similar-sized structures within a couple of blocks of the Hotel Cedar, the junction of State and Rush Streets does mark something of a transition zone from the canyons of the Near North Side, and the more genteel architecture of the Gold Coast.

Worse, was the fact that the hotel would have tied up an already congested part of State Street with a loading zone, and it would have had 220 rooms, but zero parking.

In a newsletter published by his office this week, Reilly had other objections, “The proposal did not go through the rigorous and transparent community process it deserved; many local residents opposed the approved hotel tower; and the aggressive plans that were approved in the current Planned Development are not being pursued.”

And you can’t have a Chicago city council story without a whiff of corruption and conspiracy.  Reilly again:

The former Cedar Hotel property at 1112 North State Street was up-zoned to “Business Planned Development No. 1061” on May 9, 2007 by then-Alderman Burton Natarus.  The substantial up-zoning of the Cedar Hotel was approved just eleven days prior to Alderman Reilly taking the oath of office as the new Alderman of the 42nd Ward.  

So what becomes of the Cedar Hotel?  For the moment, nothing new.  It remains a beautiful old building that has seen better days.  Hopefully it won’t remain stagnant long enough to become a liability and face the wrecking ball.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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