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An Old Gentlemen's Club In Chicago Will Open as a Thompson Hotel In 2014

Where: 12 S Michigan Ave [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60603
July 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM | by | ()

It looks like Chicago will be adding another boutique hotel to its rapidly-growing scene in 2014, with the conversion of the historic Chicago Athletic Association building into a 240-room hotel.

Located in the MIchigan Avenue landmark district, the building used to function as a hangout for wealthy Chicago bachelors in the early 1900s. A place where, according to the Chicago Tribune, "one could exercise, enjoy a fine meal in a beautiful setting, and then retire to a comfortable room for the evening, all under one roof." Sounds pretty good to us.

Just add in a flat-screen TV and an iPod/iPad docking station, and you're pretty much caught up to the demands of today's hotel guests.

What's interesting about the announcement, is a detail mentioned by NBC Chicago: despite one of the major buyers being John Pritzker (son of Hyatt hotels founder Jay Pritzker), the hotel won't go under the Hyatt brand. instead, it's being handed off to Commune Hotels—specifically Thompson—to guide its success as a "boutique luxury" property.

We're suddenly remembering all the positive feedback Commune/Thompson received when it stated it would take over Manhattan's historic 5 Beekman. It looks like this could be part of Thompson's new trend; taking over historic old landmark buildings, and re-interpreting their bygone-ara appeal to craft chic, trendy boutique hotels. Nothing we're opposed to.

Jonathan Fine, executive director of Preservation Chicago, told The Tribune:

"Whenever a building can be repurposed as close to its original intent as possible, that's always a plus.

A boutique hotel has always been the ideal use for this building. There's some cache in saying you stayed in a hotel where William Wrigley once stayed."

Now we're just waiting to see how the rooms will be re-designed, since, judging from a few photos we stumbled across, there's quite a bit that needs changing from those William Wrigley days.

More to come!

[Photo: Flickr / mcf31]

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