Sport has a long history of bringing people together, and in turn-of-the-century America, members’ sports clubs and associations were important places for leaders of the business world to network. As their members were some of the community’s most affluent members, these clubs also had some pretty spiffy headquarters, and after a two-year restoration project, one such building in Chicago is looking dandy once again and is poised to retake its place at the centre of the city’s social scene.
The Chicago Athletic Association was built in 1890, and to step into the place today is to step back in time to its heyday following the extensive efforts of Chicago’s Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and in-demand New York design studio Roman and Williams. The hotel and leisure venue is located on Michigan Avenue, and from rooftop bar Cindy’s guests can enjoy views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. However, the premises itself gives those views a run for their money, beginning with the beautiful, ornate façade. Designed by eminent architect of the day Henry Ives Cobb, the tower is a 250 foot Venetian Gothic wonder which paid special attention to its lakefront aspect to wow visitors to the Chicago World’s Fair. Inside, stained glass windows, marble staircases and luxurious materials within the masculine guestrooms all add to the sensory experience.