Construction About to Start on Streeterville Hotel You Forgot About

Marriott Autograph Chicago drawing

As the Chicago development radar spins, the pings get fainter and fainter until sometimes they practically slip away.  And then suddenly “PING!” a bogie appears on the screen.  Such is the case with 224 East Ontario Street, the Streeterville hotel being developed by SMASHotels just off of the Magnificent Mile.

You may remember SMAS from such downtown Chicago hotels as theWit, the Fairfield Inn and Suites Downtown/Magnificent Mile, and… that’s pretty much it.

The architecture firm is a repeat offender, too.  You may remember Koo and Associates from such skyscrapers as theWit, the Fairfield Inn and Suites Downtown/Magnificent Mile, and a bunch of others.

We haven’t heard a peep out of this project in almost a year, so it was with a particularly startling ping that this reappeared with a permit for a tower crane.  It’s like when your birthday and Christmas land on the same day of the year and your crazy old aunt sends you two checks!


According to Koo’s web site, that crane will be assembling a Marriott Autograph hotel.  The Associates agree:

The Marriott Autograph hotel in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago comfortably fits 22 stories and 200 rooms on a diminutive 60-foot-wide by 120-foot-deep site. Designed for the millennial traveler, the hotel features a high-tech, embossed rainscreen façade that creates an ever-changing pixelated “digital” pattern. It also includes a double-height multi-functional lobby lounge and meeting place intended as an inviting neighborhood amenity; a second-story planted art installation terrace; and an agricultural green roof.

Whether that 22-story figure is accurate remains to be seen. Last word we had out of 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly’s office was that it was going to be 20 stories.  This chunk of Chicago is zoned DX-12, so it’s possible that the architect is correct and the alderman is approximating.  But more likely is the plan was revised down to 20 stories and 198 rooms, because diagrams of the building show it with a height of 217 feet, which would be a tight fit for a 22-story high rise, even a hotel.

Location: 224 East Ontario Street, Streeterville


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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