Virgin Hotel Chicago Officially a Thing
Dec22

Virgin Hotel Chicago Officially a Thing

Congratulations to the Virgin Hotel Chicago, for actually starting to exist. For more than two years now, we’ve chronicled the transformation of the former Dearborn Bank Building at 203 North Wabash Avenue into the world’s first Virgin Hotel.  The first reservations are being taken for January 15th, 2015, though we’ve been told that the hotel will be open in December, so perhaps it’s already welcoming visitors?...

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Status Update: Taking a Shine to a Virgin
Oct23

Status Update: Taking a Shine to a Virgin

The outside of the world’s first Virgin Hotel (203 North Wabash Avenue) is just about done, while work continues apace inside the hotel for its debut in just a matter of weeks. You can see workers applying coats of shiny silver paint to a segment of the building’s decorative facade.  The exterior has been cleaned and repointed from top to bottom.  Even the bits of decoration that nobody outside of this blog will ever see...

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Status Update: Virgin Loses Her Red Top, Gets Ready To Show Chicago Her Stuff
Mar19

Status Update: Virgin Loses Her Red Top, Gets Ready To Show Chicago Her Stuff

The world’s first Virgin Hotel is very privately getting ready for its debut. The unique red construction netting that once shrouded its upper reaches of the former Dearborn Bank Building at 203 North Wabash Avenue is long gone, and it doesn’t look like there’s too much more facade work to do. Most of the windows used to have a red masking tape grid on them. But now only a few do, which could mean that those portions...

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Your OHC Photos: MDA City Apartments
Oct27

Your OHC Photos: MDA City Apartments

With the construction of 73 East Lake Street, the most captivating part of the MDA City Apartments has been obscured — The mural on its east side.  Even though MDA’s glassy new neighbor has entombed the mural, MDA still has its charms, including the views from its roof deck. Man_ofSteel sent us two photos he took from the roof during Open House Chicago. The first is a black-and-white pic looking down Wabash Avenue, with a...

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Virgin Hotel Keeps Her Secrets Close to Her Ornately Decorated Chest
Jul15

Virgin Hotel Keeps Her Secrets Close to Her Ornately Decorated Chest

It’s been a number of months since work began turning the old Dearborn Bank Building into the world’s first Virgin Hotel at 203 North Wabash Avenue in The Loop. And what do we have to show for it? Not much. At least on the outside. Most of the work has been going on inside, behind the scenes. On the outside, there has been frustratingly little to see, except for one lone scaffold that delicately picks its way across the...

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Chicago’s New Virgin Slips Into a Little Something Skimpy and Red and Sheer
May01

Chicago’s New Virgin Slips Into a Little Something Skimpy and Red and Sheer

From cell phones to space ships, Richard Branson’s Virgin industrial empire has never been shy about standing out in a crowded marketplace. And even before the world’s first Virgin Hotel opens in Chicago, the building is already shouting, “Hey! Look at me!” As construction crews are turning the dowdy old Dearborn Bank Building (203 North Wabash Avenue) into a voluptuous, chic, trendy hotel they’ve wrapped...

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Status Update: No Rest at Virgin Hotel
Feb27

Status Update: No Rest at Virgin Hotel

It’s been a very busy week at the old Dearborn Bank Building, soon to emerge as the world’s first Virgin Hotel (203 North Wabash Avenue). One of our Loop spies has been sending us a steady stream of photographs as crews get ready to begin a $55 million renovation of the building into a shiny new place for visitors to stay. The Dearborn Wabash Street sidewalk has been covered by a construction canopy and moved out into...

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A Virgin Aroused: Construction Begins at Much-Anticipated Loop Hotel
Feb19

A Virgin Aroused: Construction Begins at Much-Anticipated Loop Hotel

Something is finally happening at the site of what will some day become the Virgin Hotel Chicago (203 North Wabash Avenue). It’s been a year and a half since it first became public that the British boutique brand Virgin decided to open its first hotel in the former Dearborn Bank Building, across the street from Harold Washington College and the MDA Apartments.  The renovation is expected to cost at least $55 million. Since then,...

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Our First Peek at The Loop’s New Virgin
Aug20

Our First Peek at The Loop’s New Virgin

It’s been almost a year since we first heard that the Virgin Group would convert the dowdy grey Dearborn Bank Building  (203 North Wabash Avenue) into the world’s first Virgin Hotel.  Since then, the tenants have been slowly moving out, and a couple of weeks ago paper went up over the ground floor retail windows. Then yesterday we were tooling through The Toop and spotted this: There’s a series of paper signs on the...

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Briefly: Book Marks, Sleeping With Virgin, Occupy The News

 With the continuing demise of bookstores across the country, and here in Chicago, the Waldenbooks at Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 West Madison Street) is now branded “HudsonBooksellers.”. Waldenbooks was owned by Borders, which no longer exists. The nondescript building at 203 North Wabash Avenue, on the L bend between the MDA Apartments and the 17th Church, has been bought by Virgin Hotels.  Irony? At the Saturday...

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