If you worry about the future of downtown Chicago’s distinguished red stone buildings, don’t take a walk down Erie Street. A half block west of State Street, two of the old red ladies are now being torn down: Number 16 and Number 22.
People have been athirst to rubbleize these buildings for a number of years. In the middle of the last decade there were a couple of proposals to flatten them, and then build an expansion onto what was then the Hotel Dana, now the Eurostars Magnificent Mile.
That name change came with an ownership change. Rebel Hospitality used to own the Dana, and its headquarters were in Number 16. Now Dana is flying the Eurostars flag, which is owned by the same people who own the Esquire Theater, and a rack of depeche mode stockists like Zara and Massimo Dutti.
Rebel was the one that proposed the hotel expansion down Erie, an idea we agreed with in an article published four years ago:
But while Dana has always been a beautiful construction, with her long lines, superior posture, and shiny eastward expression, she’s also been a two-faced creature. Westward, she casts a stony, blank, disinterested stare across the rest of the Cathedral District, like pretty much every teen-age girl from every Smith’s song you listened to in college.
It wasn’t emo music that killed the hotel expansion idea. Rather, it was scotched because of concerns about density, parking, traffic, lather, rinse, repeat.
As far as we can tell, it doesn’t appear that when the Eurostars people copped the Dana that they also put Numbers 16 and 22 in their beige 100% polyester do-not-wash do-not-dry-clean tote bag. Whatever is happening at those numbers is isolated from the hotel. This is evident in the fact that there is no demolition permit for 14 West Erie, which sits between the piles currently being de-bricked and the recently Euro-flavored hotel.
We sent a note to Rebel Hospitality’s public relations people to find out if they have anything we can relate to the public. When we hear back, we’ll post another article. We’re good like that.