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Chicago Athletic Association

12 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
(Henry Ives Cobb, 1893)

 

A hotel developer has proposed demolishing the rear two-thirds of this unique Venetian-Gothic building, in order to construct a stepped-back addition leading to a 250-foot tower at the rear of the parcel. The project, if approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, would constitute an unprecedented alteration to the world-famous Michigan Boulevard “streetwall,” which is a protected Chicago Landmark District.

 

The building’s façade, which is strongly reminiscent of the Doges Palace in Venice, was designed to give the Chicago Athletic Association (CAA) a distinctive identity when viewed from the lakefront, particularly by visitors to the World’s Columbia Exposition of 1893.

 
 

 

The architect, who was a club member, was well known for his designs for the Chicago Historical Society (now Excalibur Club in River North), the Newberry Library, and several buildings at the University of Chicago.

 

The CAA closed earlier this year. While several of its ornate interior spaces will be preserved, other features—such as a marble-clad swimming pool—will be removed for the proposed new hotel. The building’s proposed new additions would be visible from Millennium Park and other portions of Grant Park  This is the second consecutive year this building has been included on the Watch List.

 

Photos 1, 2, 3: Robert Shymanski, Photos 4, 5: Rolf Achilles.

 
 

 

     
 

  ADDITIONAL PHOTOS

 

Click here to view additional photos of the Chicago Athletic Association's interior in a full screen slideshow format. Photos: Rolf Achilles

 
     

 

 

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