Status Update: Welcome to the Hotel Atari
Mar25

Status Update: Welcome to the Hotel Atari

  The Hilton Garden Inn at 66 East Wacker Place has reached its maximum height, and right now the facade is being buttoned up.  In the minds of vocal readers, it’s gone from bad to worse. We received a few messages from you disapproving of the building’s yellow exterior.  “Don’t worry, Fair Reader, that’s just insulation and such.  It’ll soon be covered in gray metal panels,” we told you....

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Status Update: How Does Your Hilton Garden Inn Grow?
Nov11

Status Update: How Does Your Hilton Garden Inn Grow?

The Hilton Garden Inn planed at 66 East Wacker Place by GDS Companies continues its beanstalk act.  Loop Spy Nathan sent in these photos showing that what was once thought to be a dead-end alley mere months ago has been transformed into the skeleton of a very narrow skyscraper. When complete, the 26-story limited-service hotel designed by GREC Architects will have 191 rooms, a bar, and a subterranean fitness/business area. These...

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Status Update: Hilton’s Garden Inn Starts to Bloom
Sep23

Status Update: Hilton’s Garden Inn Starts to Bloom

The new Hilton Garden Inn sprouting at 66 East Wacker Place is undergoing a growth spurt.  The soon-to-be 26-story hotel being built for GDS Companies is already up to its 11th floor, according to photos from Chicago Architecture Blog photographer Daniel Schell. The building was designed by GREC Architects, which describes it thusly: Located on a very compact site between two landmark structures – the Chicago Motor Club and the...

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Status Update: A Crane in its Place
Sep02

Status Update: A Crane in its Place

A new crane has gone up on the tiny block-and-a-half-long street known as East Wacker Place, and until just a few years ago known as East South Water Street. For those of you abnormally into cranes (you know who you are), it’s a Palfinger PSM 200-8.  The tower is Linden Comansa. Loop Spy Ryan sent in this photo of the crane rising at number 66, where GDS Companies is putting up a 26-atorty Hilton Garden Inn.  This will be a...

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Status Update: Big Places in Tiny Spaces
Jul24

Status Update: Big Places in Tiny Spaces

Construction crews continue working at 66 East Wacker Place, trying to jam a 26-story Hilton Garden Inn into a space only slightly larger than a mouse.  Thanks to Loop Spy Daniel for sending in this picture of the progress. The developer, GDS Companies, and its architect, GREC Architects, see no problem with the plan to stuff the limited-service hotel in the limited space between the 17th Church of Christ, Scientist and the Chicago...

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Status Update: Eight Pounds of Hotel in a Five Pound Bag
Jun23

Status Update: Eight Pounds of Hotel in a Five Pound Bag

If you think riding the Red Line north at noon on a Friday when the Cubs are playing is a tight squeeze, you should see what they’re doing down at 66 East Wacker Place. That’s where GDS Companies has construction crews trying to put up a Hilton Garden Inn in a space that we used to think was just a narrow back alley, but turns out to be just the right size for a 26-story hotel, according to the plans drawn up by GREC...

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Long Neglected, a Chicago Art Deco Gem Inches Toward Rebirth
Mar19

Long Neglected, a Chicago Art Deco Gem Inches Toward Rebirth

In a city filled with Art Deco delight, this small skyscraper is an exceptional gem. Recently named a Chicago Landmark, the fifteen-story Chicago Motor Club Building (68 East Wacker Place) was designed in 1928 by Holabird & Root. It’s not a well-known building; it has been empty for a decade, and you can’t access its dazzling lobby. But for locals who remember it way back when, and those lucky enough to attend the rare open house...

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Status Update: The Tiny Alley That Will Soon Be A Hilton Garden Inn
Mar17

Status Update: The Tiny Alley That Will Soon Be A Hilton Garden Inn

Move over GEMS Academy, there’s a new contender for the title of “Chicago’s most cramped construction site.” GDS Companies has begun work on a new Hilton Garden Inn below street level at 66 East Wacker Place. The 26-story limited service hotel designed by GREC Architects is being squeezed into the tiny space between the Seventeenth Church of Christ and the Chicago Motor Club building.  It will be the third...

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A Loop Hotel That’s More Than Just a Place to Hang Your Hat
Dec02

A Loop Hotel That’s More Than Just a Place to Hang Your Hat

Hotel Monaco Chicago (225 North Wabash Avenue), part of the Kimpton chain, is an award-winning boutique hotel with a phenomenal location and accompanying views.  The interior is colorfully pretty and cozily chic.  My recent visit and tour with the concierge made me want to return for an extended stay. While some Chicago hotels revel in their historic design and traditions, the Hotel Monaco—occupying a century-old building—feels...

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Strategy For The Loop’s Newest Hotel: Keep It Simple
Nov18

Strategy For The Loop’s Newest Hotel: Keep It Simple

The Chicago Loop Alliance and 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly held an event tonight where the people behind the proposed new Hilton Garden Inn in the Loop (66 East Wacker Place) talked about their plan. At its heart, the 20-something-story inn is a “limited service hotel,” which means no ballrooms, no banquet facilities, and very few other ancillary amenities. The hotel is planned to consist of 192 rooms, averaging 280 square feet;...

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