The Chicago Athletic Association building is one of the most famous and architecturally significant buildings in Chicago, and next Wednesday, May 27th, it’s going to be open to the public for the first time in history, as a 241 room hotel. Originally built in 1890, this Venetian gothic building at 12 S. Michigan in the heart of the Loop operated as a private men’s club until finally shutting its doors in 2007. Rooms are expected to be priced from $369—and by all accounts, those able to spare the money for a stay are not going to be disappointed.
The reopening of the CAA as a hotel began in part as a pet project of John Pritzker, the famous hotelier and Chairman of Commune of Hotels and Resorts. In his own words, the reopening was a “how could you not project”—with the sheer level of detail and architectural history in the building, which features exquisite extinct marble, gorgeous ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling fireplaces, it was simply too precious to not reopen to the public. To make the dream of reopening the CAA a reality, Pritzker partnered with AJ Capital Partners and the Chicago-based Agman Partners, along with a handful of other architectural, design, and food industry leaders, such as the interior design duo of Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer, Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, and mixologist Nandini Khaund.
The CAA Hotel is teaming with the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Art Institute of Chicago to deliver guided tours of this historical monument, which sports many of its original features along with modern additions celebrating its history as an athletic club, with details like an old school climbing wall and tennis wrap around table legs. One of the most prominent features of this hotel is sure to be its amazing rooftop terrace and lounge, which directly overlooks Millennium Park and the Art Institute.
There will be a free Field Day this Saturday from 10am-2pm at Prizker Pavilion in Millennium Park for anyone wishing to learn more about this landmark.