DOWNTOWN — The historic Chicago Motor Club Building, having sat empty since 2004, will reopen Tuesday as a Hampton Inn.
The 143-room hotel at 68 E. Wacker Place retains several original features of the 17-story Art Deco tower built in 1928. Many can be found in the hotel lobby with its tile floors, millwork and lighting fixtures, as well as a mural map of the United States the motor club used to plan trips.
"Returning the historic Chicago Motor Club Building to its original, exquisite form was extremely important to us,” said developer John T. Murphy.
Chris Horney, right, of developer MB Real Estate in the hotel's lobby bar [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
Hotel guests and the public can drink at "Jack's Place," the hotel's lobby bar/restaurant. The menu includes appetizers, sandwiches and Gino's East pizza; while the drink menu features mint juleps ($12), "giggle water" ($12; gin, spiced rum, bourbon, tonic water, simple syrup, lime juice, parsley) and other cocktails.
Win the naming rights to this car [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
The lobby is highlighted by the new presence of a 1928 Ford Model A, which was built the same year as the tower. A social media contest to name the car using #1928HamptonInnspiration is running through June 26.
"We wanted to get something that reflected the period and history of the building," said Chris Horney of developer MB Real Estate.
Original millwork and ceiling light in the lobby [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
A venture led by MB paid about $9.5 million in 2013 for the tower, queueing up the latest in a construction pipeline full of Downtown hotel projects, many of them adapted historic buildings. The Virgin Hotel lies just south on Wabash Avenue, and a conversion of the former London Guarantee Building is underway at 360 N. Michigan Ave. A new Hilton Garden Inn is also under construction at 66 E. Wacker Place, next door to the former Motor Club Building.
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