A Look at the Hotel That Will Change the Face of Old Town

Diagram of 1520 North Wells

Diagram of 1520 North Wells

An Old Town surface parking lot, a combo residential/retail building, and an iconic neighborhood watering hole are all on the chopping block as plans have been filed with the city to replace all three with a single hotel.

Plans were recently filed with the city by Wellstel, LLC showing the Pappageorge Haymes-designed building replacing the commercial/residential building at 1520 North Wells, and the O’Brien’s Restaurant at 1528 North Wells.  The hotel building faces North Wells Street, and backs onto four new single family homes which face North Wieland Street.

Word of the hotel was first reported by Crain’s Chicago Business last November, but the plans filed with the city last week give us our first look at the very large building.

At 14 stories, the new hotel would dwarf its immediate neighbors, which are mostly in the 3-5 story range. The south-facing rooms should have fantastic views of the downtown skyline; while north, and west views will have expansive cityscapes of their own.  East views of Lake Michigan may be significantly challenged by the residential condo towers of the Gold Coast.

Here’s all the information about the building:

  • Address: 1520 North Wells Street
  • Address: 1513 North Weiland Street
  • Hotel building size: 118,400 square feet
  • Hotel height: 154 feet
  • Hotel floors: 13 + mechanical penthouse
  • Hotel width: 113 feet
  • Hotel length: 125 feet
  • Hotel rooms: 190
  • New homes size: 4,175 square feet each
  • New homes floors: three
  • New homes height: 47 feet
  • Hotel parking: 45 spaces
  • Hotel bicycle parking: 6 spaces
  • Hotel loading docks: One
  • Hotel terraces: 2nd floor, 3rd floor, 8th floor, 12th floor
  • Hotel lobby access: Via Wells Street
  • Hotel parking garage access: Via Wells Street
  • Sidewalk clock to be preserved
  • Stone and brick facade
  • Green roof alert!


Location: 1520 North Wells Street, Old Town

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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