Design tweaks for North Clark hotel project
29-Oct-09 The design of three hotels planned for North Clark Street has been modified based on feedback from River North residents.
Friedman Properties is seeking zoning approval for a project that would bring three modestly-sized hotels and 621 new hotel rooms to 501 North Clark.
The changes are mainly to the design of the 18-story Aloft Hotel the front of the building facing Clark Street and the north side on Grand Avenue.
(Above) Original design announced in August and revised version (below).
An internal driveway was also re-designed to handle guest loading and unloading, as well as deliveries, keeping such activity off Illinois and Grand Streets.
42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly says the changes were a result of a community meeting on July 28 of residents, neighborhood associations, architects, and city officials.
Windows set in a wall of precast brick have been replaced with a glass curtain wall. Architecture writer Lynn Becker calls it a more elegant solution.
The vertical bracket that seemed a cheap rip-off of Jackie Koos chartreuse lightning bolt on the Hotel Wit is gone, Becker writes in his daily blog on architecture in Chicago, as are the brick pilasters with lighter insets that were reminiscent of the style of an old four-plus-one in Rogers Park. The stub of a curtain wall makes it kind of a pug, but the new brick wall design is much more attractive, and much more in harmony with the historic loft buildings in River North.
Besides Aloft, the hotels, serving mainly business travelers, would include an 18-story Hyatt Place and a 17-story Fairfield Inn & Suites. Robert Lopatin, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development for Friedman, anticipates the project will start next summer and be completed in 2012.
(Above) Clark and Grand Hotels site plan submitted by the project architect, HOK. (Click on image to view larger version.)
Meanwhile, a nearby parking garage, developed by Friedman Properties and originally expected to open in September, is now scheduled to open on December 1. Greenway Self-Park will be an environmentally-friendly 11-story structure with room for 715 vehicles, 24 bicycles, and 14,800 square feet of retail space. It will be located two blocks south of the Clark and Grand hotels, at 601 West Kinzie.
Read more of Lynn Beckers comments...
By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | Published 29-Oct-09 3:25 AM