Chicago has a long history of honoring the people who shaped this city by naming buildings after them. When they’re dead. And few dead Chicago architects have as much street cred as Daniel Burnham.
But just weeks after a local company set yet another example, naming its new hotel after Zachary Davis, the architect of Wrigley Field, a west coast interloper has erased the name Burnham from the Reliance Building at 1 West Washington Street.
Pineapple Hospitality is the offender here, replacing the landmarked building’s Hotel Burnham name with “Alise Chicago.” “Burnham” is the name of a well-respected city father. “Alise” is the alternate name for a town in the middle of France that was wiped off the map by Julius Caesar in 52BC. And a pineapple is a symbol of hospitality, which is why you see them carved into the posts of four-poster beds.
Though the name change isn’t supposed to become official until 2017, Alise is already listed on Pineapple’s web site.
The Pineapple people bought the Hotel Burnham, so it’s their right to do what they want with the 122 room hotel and its comforting-yet-fancy restaurant with the mirthful flatware. But hopefully in the near future, one of the local hostelry concerns will make up for the newcomers’ slight. Surely the people over at the Hyatt Center can spare a flag.