Thursday, June 11, 2015

Chicago's Motor Club Building Is Back on the Roadl-- Part 1: "A Short Building That's All About Being Tall"

From the June 7, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Motor Club back on the road" by Robert Duffer.

Renovated 'Temple of Transport" reopens as a Hampton Hotel.

"The automotive and architectural worlds have had big hands in shaping American culture over the past century.  Symbolizing the marriage of these industries, the renovated Chicago Motor Club Building bridges the past to the present by honoring Chicago's motoring history in a swanky art deco hotel that would please flappers and yuppies alike."

The building was built in 1928 for the Chicago affiliate of the American Automobile Association.  For a skyscraper, it is short, just 15 stories, but the tall open lobby defines what Chicago Tribune architect critic Blair Kamin calls "a short building that's about being tall."

In 2012 it was elevated to Landmark Status for Chicago.

But things were not always so great for the little, tall structure.  In 1985, the AAA Chicago Motor Club left to suburban Aurora.It had been vacant and near ruin since 2004.  Now, it iw an upscale Hampton Inn Hotel.  Hamptons, of course, are better known for roadside layovers than destination artworks.

On My List of Things to See in Chicago, Even If I can't Afford to Stay There.  --RoadDog

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