These Two Buzzed-About Design Projects Are Must-Visits This Season

By AJ LaTrace | June 21, 2018 | Culture

A pair of just-finished design projects are having serious impact on summer in the city.

Wrigleyville Chic

Hotel Zachary’s decor pays homage to the past with accents like a portrait of Wrigley Field architect and hotel namesake Zachary Taylor Davis (Photo by David Burk)

From rowdy and just a wee bit unrefined to glimmering and sophisticated, the area surrounding Wrigley Field has undergone a major transformation in recent years, witnessing an uptick in new developments certain to keep visitors in the area well after a game’s final pitch. Case in point: the brand-new Hotel Zachary, which, along with the new Gallagher Way outdoor plaza, is truly reshaping Wrigleyville.

The 173-room hotel comes from the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs and the driving force behind Wrigleyville’s transformation. Rising seven stories over the Addison and Clark intersection, the new boutique hotel features contemporary guest rooms and a litany of upscale food and beverage offerings from the likes of Big Star, Smoke Daddy and the Boka Group.

“Our focus was building something that tipped its hat to Wrigley and had a relationship to baseball, but wasn’t driven by baseball,” says Eric Nordness, senior vice president of the Ricketts family’s Hickory Street Capital. While the new hotel has a casual-chic vibe, it offers an unforgettable luxury experience: the $40,000 One Legendary Stay package, including two nights in one of the hotel’s Marquee Suites— spacious rooms that feature rounded glass walls of windows looking over Wrigley Field’s iconic signage—as well as a personal tour of Wrigley Field and a party for 13 guests in a ballpark suite. The icing on the cake? The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to throw the first pitch at a Cubs game. 3630 N. Clark St., 773.302.2300

All About Architecture

chicago architecture center
The new Chicago Architecture Center is set in the heart of the action at the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue (Photo by Angie McMonigal; courtesy CAF)

Known for its architecture tours and educational programming, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is on the move from its tucked-away Michigan Avenue storefront. Set to open August 31 is the new Chicago Architecture Center, a 20,000-square-foot space on Wacker Drive along the Chicago River, located just across the street from the dock where its popular downtown riverboat cruises begin and end.

The organization hasn’t just changed locations; it is dramatically expanding its footprint and focus, adding more room for new permanent and rotating exhibitions. Over 9,000 square feet will be dedicated to family-friendly exhibit space, which will help teach the power of architecture and how cities are built. Fans of the popular Chicago Model—a miniature re-creation of the city’s downtown area—will be pleased to find that the attraction will more than double in size, from 1,300 scale-sized buildings featured to 3,000.

“The center’s permanent, state-of-the-art exhibits include an expanded and interactive Chicago Model, an awe-inspiring skyscraper exhibit complete with supersized scale models and a fascinating mini tour of Chicago’s proud and distinctive neighborhoods,” says Chicago Architecture Foundation president and CEO Lynn Osmond.

Having close ties to Chicago architecture, the organization has teamed up with illustrious hometown firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill as lead designers for the space. Famous for crafting megatall skyscrapers such as the under-construction Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, Smith + Gill’s contemporary design for the new center further bolsters the district’s architectural cachet. Models of various major projects in Chicago and across the globe will also be on display at the center’s new skyscraper exhibit. 111 E. Wacker Drive, 312.922.3432

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