Climb the stairs from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor of the Arts Club of Chicago, and you’ll be walking on architectural history. It’s not any old flight of stairs–this one was rescued from the previous Arts Club building two blocks west of this location at 201 East Ontario Street.
The old Arts Club building, stairs and all, was designed by Mies van der Rohe.
In 1997, the new Arts Club was built, designed by John Vinci of Vinci/Hamp Architects, Inc. The club was one of the many interesting architectural structures open for tours during the 2015 edition of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago.
Vinci took a few cues from the Mies style, as this building is simple and functional, without frills, using Norman brick and steel-framed windows.
From the outside, you might well think it’s an office building, although there are telltale hints that there’s art within, like the sculptures along the western wall.
Inside the club, there are galleries filled with modern art on the first floor, and a dining room and salon on the second floor.