Oh No! Po’ RiNo HoJo No Mo’

Howard Johnson's demolition

If you wanted to get one last glimpse of Chicago’s downtown Howard Johnson’s motel before it was demolished, well you’re too late. It’s gone, baby.

The Chicago Architecture Blog‘s Daniel Schell motored by the motor lodge and found that there’s not much of it left other than a pastel-colored exterior wall, and the basement.

This will soon be the location of 720 North LaSalle, Magellan Development’s residential skyscraper designed by friends-of-the-blog bKL Architecture.  When complete, it will rise 34-stories into the sky and boast almost 380,000 square feet of space.  bKL describes it thusly:

720 North LaSalle rendering courtesy of bKL Architecture

720 North LaSalle rendering courtesy of bKL Architecture

This modern glass and masonry residential tower was inspired by the historical buildings in its surrounding River North neighborhood. Bordered on the north by Superior Street, on the west by Wells Street and on the east by LaSalle Street, the site includes a 34-story rental apartment tower and a 4-story podium. The 298 residential units occupy the tower and portions of the podium. Wrapping the perimeter of the second and third levels of the podium, they buffer the parking levels from the street.

In addition to the residential lobby, the ground level of the building consists of retail space with frontage on LaSalle and Superior streets, as well as a smaller retail space adjacent to the park. A fitness center, lounge and spa areas have direct access to the landscaped podium roof deck and outdoor lap pool. The semi-public parking garage—providing 109 parking spots—is located on levels 3 and 4 of the podium.

Set back 80 feet from Wells Street, the property creates a new park with extensive landscaping and a dog run that is accessible to the public.

With demolition wrapping up, the construction phase should start soon, though recent checks show no foundation or construction permits have been issued just yet.

Location: 720 North LaSalle Street, River North

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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