You Say Adler, I Say Alder, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

News anchors in a dozen cities will all tell you the same thing — I have a serious problem spelling anything more complicate than “Coming up next.”  But that’s not going to stop me from being critical of other people’s spelling.

That must be why this sign in the InterContinental (Hotel) Chicago Magnificent Mile (505 North Michigan Avenue) caught my eye:

InterContinental Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile

That’s right, in the middle of a city famous for its Adler Planetarium and its Adler School of Psychology, is the “Alder Room”: A-L-D-E-R.

How do we know that the hotel isn’t celebrating the alder tree?  Because another helpful sign not far away spells it correctly: A-D-L-E-R.

InterContinental Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile

And here’s the sign on the room, itself:

 InterContinental Hotel Chicago Magnificent Mile

No, it’s not polite to harp on the spelling challenges of others.  But for several years I had someone who would repeatedly embarrass me in front of a couple of hundred thousand people for my spelling, so I feel like I’ve earned it.

Author: Editor

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

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