Conrad Shown the Door; Gwen Is Here to Serve

Terrace Suites  at The Gwen (Courtesy of Starwood)

Terrace Suites at The Gwen (Courtesy of Starwood)

You know the Conrad Chicago Hotel in the old McGraw Hill building at 520 North Michigan Avenue?  Yeah, that doesn’t exist anymore.  Instead, say “hello” to Gwen.

Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago is the new and unnecessarily cumbersome name for the hotel that used to be the Conrad, which used to be the Le Meridian, and the Hotel 21 before that.

The name “Gwen” is at least a nod to the building’s history and what remains of its art, as explained in the press release from Starwood Hotels below.  If you’re not into reading, then just enjoy the pictures. But forget about Conrad.  He doesn’t live here anymore.

The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago Debuts in the City’s Historic McGraw-Hill Building

CHICAGO, Ill. — Following the conversion of the hotel formerly known as Conrad Chicago, The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago will debut today offering unparalleled luxury and personalized service in a prime downtown Chicago location with direct access to the upscale boutiques along the Magnificent Mile shopping district. Owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Company and managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, The Gwen marks the first hotel in Chicago as part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ The Luxury Collection brand.

“We are delighted to debut The Luxury Collection in Chicago in this ideal downtown location, as we continue to seek out opportunities to grow the brand in premium markets around the world,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts. “This hotel will deliver impeccable service and modern sophistication to the new generation of luxury travelers near the Windy City’s best shopping, dining and attractions.”

Inspired by Gwen Lux, a pioneering Chicago-born sculptress whose work influenced much of the early twentieth century, the design of The Gwen harkens back to the grandeur and glamour of Chicago in the 1930s. Located in one of the rare standing landmark buildings of Art Deco-infused architecture, The Gwen is poised to deliver a new level of luxury to the Windy City, with a Prohibition Porter mixologist, Artist’s Table dining experience and open terraces that overlook the Chicago skyline.

“We believe in the power of storytelling, and the history and heritage of The Gwen is the perfect fit for The Luxury Collection brand,” says Mark Brugger, President and CEO of DiamondRock Hospitality Company. “We are proud to bring our vision to life and introduce this hotel to luxury travelers visiting Chicago from around the world.”

Michael George, CEO of Crescent Hotels & Resorts continued, “It’s our goal to create one of the most distinctive hotels in Chicago, while also providing the canvas for connection to individual inspiration. We are delighted to introduce The Gwen to our portfolio.”

For more information or to be one of the first to experience The Gwen, please visit www.theluxurycollection/gwen or call (312) 645-1500.

Location: 520 North Michigan Avenue, Near North



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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