Construction Update
New McCormick Place Marriott Won’t Miss Out on Rooftop Bar Trend

Whether it’s the neighborhood-friendly Hotel Godfrey in River North, or the new über-luxe hostelries squeezing in along the river, it seems like these days every new Chicago hotel wants to have a rooftop bar.  Aside from being a money-printing machine, they’re also a publicity bonanza in an era when every second of everyone’s lives is being snapbooked and facechatted to a salivating internet.

The new Marriott Marquis being built as part of “The Collection at McCormick Square” wasn’t on board at first, but it has since changed its mind.

Rendering of the Marriott Marquis Chicago

Rendering of the Marriott Marquis Chicago

McPier gave its couch a firm kick and a million dollars fell out so that Clark Construction can add a 33rd floor to the building’s east wing.  It will house a bar, a kitchen, a reception area, coat check, and restrooms designed by Michael Kaufman over at Goettsch Partners in The Loop.

The new 40-story Marriott tower is the flagship hotel of the latest McCormick Place expansion, which also includes the Wintrust Arena across the street.

Although it is going to be a natural magnet for conventioneers coming to Chicago (it’s being paid for by the city’s convention authority after all), the hotel’s official description from Marriott HQ lists just “voice mail” and “electrical outlet: desk level” as the property’s only business amenities.

Marriott also lists the price of a cab ride from O’Hare to the new hotel at a laughable $40 (yeah, double that).  But perhaps that’s why it doesn’t plan shuttle service from either O’Hare or Midway.  Or maybe it was an intern who put the list together, which might explain why the local attractions list includes “Daly Park” and “Millennial Park,” but not the Field Museum, Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Adler Planetarium, or even Prairie Avenue, the very street on which the hotel is located.

As long as hammers are still swinging, the hotel is still a work in progress.  If they can add an entire floor to the project, perhaps there’s also still time to get the amenities and brochures in order before the 2017 opening.  Until then, here’s some rendering goodness.

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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