Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Status Update: The Building That Ate AMA Park

Sure, AMA Park wasn't an official park, but it was a nice patch of green in an area of the city that desperately needs some breathing room.  But there's no point is crying over it any longer, since this is the future.

"This" is the Hotel Palomar Chicago (505 North State Street), brought to us by the Kimpton Group -- the same people doing (IMHO) a great job with the Hotel Monaco, Hotel Allegro, and the Hotel Burnham.  This is Kimpton's first hotel in Chicago that isn't built into an existing historic building.

As you can see, the new building just inches from the beloved AMA Building (the striped building with the big hole in the top at 515 North State Street) is moving along quickly.  There's already glazing on the lower floors so interior work can proceed in defiance of the winter winds.

When completed, the building designed by John Buck Company will be 380 feet tall, have 36 stories, and boast 259 rooms.  That means it will be about 60 feet taller than the AMA Building.  It also means that some of the rooms should have a view right through the hole in the AMA Building.  Now that's a postcard I can't wait to see.


  1. I miss that park. It was perfectly situated as a transition between the upper decker Wabash street and lower streets of River North. In fact it was River North's only real green space. Now here's 2 rumors:

    1. According to the GSA's website there has been a plan to sink the dearborn street post office below ground thus making a park on that location. That would be welcome.

    2. Theres a plan in the works to create a Hotel across from the above at State and Illinois on the parking lot. That will certainly lead more development of the surrounding area. I just hope they keep Rock Bottom. It's nice to have a little character on the buildings unlike most of the concrete dreariness thats arisen in the last 10 years near there.

  2. The GSA thing has been moving slowly, mostly because of the city's intended land swap. The idea was to give the Postal Service some free land on Goose Island in exchange for the post office block on Dearborn. Last I heard the city was having trouble getting its hands on enough land on Goose Island to complete the transaction, in part because the Postal Service wants a lot of space for parking.

    I'd also head that the park idea was scrapped and going to be replaced by a mixed-use skyscraper, but that may no longer be accurate.

    As for the hotel on State and Illinois, I'd heard it was going in at the location of the surface parking lot, so Rock Bottom should be safe. We can hope, anyway.

  3. Yes - the hotel will be on the site of the parking lot with some air rights over underground ATT cable vaults. Its supposedly going to be by an international starchitect. Its the second incarnation of a project that previously had gone before planning commission with comments. Lets hope its good. We need something good right now.


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