Chicago’s ongoing hotel boom has its latest icon: a 50-story glass tower whose owners proudly announced their new downtown presence with tall, white lettering visible from many blocks down the Chicago River. The opening of Loews Chicago Hotel follows the company’s July acquisition of the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare Hotel.
At 928,000 square feet, the Streeterville location is a bold real estate move, but its architecture seeks to blend in tastefully. A stone and precast concrete base gives way to a tower sheathed in a blue-gray glass curtain wall. Chicago’s Solomon Cordwell Buenz designed the tower, recalling at times their work on The Legacy—a similarly understated glass tower whose shape maximized spectacular downtown views.
The hotel’s interior design “pays homage to Chicago’s strong architecture and the beauty of the city’s infrastructure,” according to a press release from Loews. Apparently an executive was inspired by Carl Sandburg’s famous poem “Chicago.” Its mutable, modern elegance could hardly pass for “Stormy, husky, brawling,” but touches of brick, concrete, and metal play nicely off more luxurious materials, like mohair, cashmere, and leather—a palette that was drawn from fashions “commonly worn in winter by Chicagoans,” according to interior design firm Simeone Deary Design Group.