The landmarked Chicago Athletic Association will soon be home to a boutique hotel designed by Roman and Williams, whose Ace Hotel in New York opened to acclaim in 2009.
Developed by AJ Capital Partners and Commune Hotels & Resorts, the 240-room hotel will include a large ballroom converted from the existing gym and running track, as well as a large greenhouse on the roof. The historic second-floor drawing room will serve as a “living room for a new generation,” Roman and Williams said in a statement, while a new sports room/pool hall/bar will call back to the Athletic Association’s past.
Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois, left; Courtesy Landmarks Illinois, center & right)
“Our reverence for this monumental building cannot be overstated, but we want to breathe a new life into it, to care for it without treating it like a relic,” the firm stated in a press release. Located at 12 S. Michigan Ave., the Venetian Gothic building opened in 1893. Architect Henry Ives Cobb imbued the classy lakefront-facing club with a facade reminiscent of the Doges Palace in Venice. Ornate marble details flow throughout the interior.
The project is expected to open in late 2014.