As reported by DNA Info, the iconic downtown Chicago Reliance Building will once again be renamed. Currently known as Hotel Burnham, the hotel was recently bought by Bellevue, Washington-based Pineapple Hospitality Co. The new building’s new name will be The Alise Chicago. All the hotel’s employees will keep their jobs, and the Atwood, the building’s ground floor restaurant, will remain.
Completed in 1895, the Reliance Building was designed by John Root and Charles Atwood, of Burnham and Root. Ironically, John Root designed the basement and first floor, the location of the current Atwood restaurant. Charles Atwood designed the rest of the tower, which has had the name of Danial Burnham, who did not design any of the building. The building was conceived to be “self-cleaning,” with its pure white terra cotta and plate glass windows. Though this feature did not work as advertised, the building’s mostly glass exterior is considered a major influence on towers of the 20th century.
(Courtesy Mr.Granger/Wikimedia Commons)
A famous anecdote about the building’s construction recounts the initial tension between the building’s client and the workers still in the building that existed on the site. When tenants in the tower did not want to end their leases, the building was jacked up, the basement and first floor were demolished, and the Root design was implemented below the building.
The tower was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976. At the time the tower sat in disrepair. From the 1940s through the mid-1990s, when the city bought the building, it remained neglected. By 1999 the tower had been renovated and transformed into Hotel Burnham.
The name change of the is expected to take effect in early 2017.