Hyatt is nearly done turning a former Chicago hospital into a hotel. Well, two hotels actually with a combined 210 rooms.
The Hyatt House Chicago – Medical / University District and Hyatt Place Chicago – Medical / University District open for stays beginning July 25. These two properties are the first Hyatt Place and Hyatt House together in one building. The former is upscale limited service, while the latter is extended stay.
Commission OKs preliminary landmark designation for the Cook County Hospital Building, 1835 W. Harrison St. Built in 1914 by Paul Gerhardt, the Beaux-Arts structure is one of Chicago's grandest public buildings. The designation covers all exterior elevations, including rooflines. pic.twitter.com/aGehfhD9jJ
— Chicago DPD (@ChicagoDPD) August 2, 2018
The old Cook County Hospital has been closed for almost 20 years. A $150 million restoration gives the 342,000 square foot 1914 Beaux-Arts building a new use. In addition to guest rooms and meeting facilities there’s also “a food hall, medical offices and a museum paying tribute to the hospital’s legacy.”
Listed as both a Chicago landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places, the interior of the building was completely gutted except for old surgical theaters on the eighth floor. Restoration work has restored and preserved numerous architectural details including terracotta ornamentation, wood-framed windows, interior decorative plaster work, the double height main lobby and 106-year old restored marble stone staircase, elevator cores, as well as the double-loaded corridor and terrazzo flooring of the interior. The team also spent over $18 million to replace all windows and 4,160 terra cotta pieces on the exterior, made of granite, brick and limestone.
There’s nothing new about converting apartments to hotels, department stores to hotels, or for that matter hospitals to hotels. The very nicest ex-hospital hotel is surely Amantaka in Luang Prabang, Laos. The hospital closed in 2005 and re-opened three years later transformed into a luxury hotel with villas, including with their own pools.
Amantaka, credit: Richard Michael Shaw via Wikimedia Commons
This won’t be nearly as luxurious, but the building has a storied history including as the first blood bank in the country.
Cook County Hospital first opened in 1857 and was used as a teaching hospital by Rush Medical School. The hospital, designed by architect Paul Gerhardt, was rebuilt in 1914. It closed after it was replaced by Stroger Hospital of Cook County in 2002.
Is this super cool, a place you’d love to stay, or a bit weird especially with so many people suffering in hospitals during the current pandemic? Either way it’s a challenging time to open two new hotels.
[…] Dublin was the former Allied Irish Bank. I was very interested when I saw that Hyatt is going to turn the old Cook County Hospital in Chicago into a combo Hyatt House/Hyatt Place. The hospital was built in 1914 and has been closed for 20 years. While I had no problems staying […]