85 W. Wacker Dr., Chicago
The LondonHouse Chicago project entailed the restoration and conversion of the London Guarantee and Accident Building — an exemplary, 1923 Beaux-Arts skyscraper designed by Alfred Alschuler — and the construction of a new, slender infill tower constructed on an adjacent site. The combined buildings serve as a 452-key hotel.
Extensive restoration of the London Guarantee and Accident Building included repair of the monumental cast-iron windows on the lower floors, restoration of ornamental limestone façade, and stone repair and reconstruction. The lobby was completely restored, as well as the open-air cupola on the 21st floor. The LondonHouse boasts a tri-level rooftop terrace and bar and offers special events space at the restored cupola. The narrow, 65-foot-wide infill building was completed by filling in a parking lot, and was designed to be respectful of, and subservient to, the classical structure of the London Guarantee and Accident Building and the Art Deco facades of the flanking 1920s-era skyscrapers. This adaptive use introduced an exciting new function for what was previously a struggling office building on an iconic site along the Chicago River.