After many years of preservation advocacy, the old Cedar Hotel reopened fall 2017 as an 18-story boutique hotel called the Viceroy Chicago. An anchor building at the intersection of Cedar and State streets in the heart of the Gold Coast’s Rush Street District, the original 1920’s neo-classical, four-story brick-and-terra-cotta façade of the original Cedar Hotel was carefully removed, catalogued, stored, restored, and ultimately rebuilt onto the new building’s base, which serves as the building’s main entrance, three-story lobby and restaurant.
The new construction glassy high-rise was deeply setback from the historic façade which minimizes the visual impact. The project was developed by Convexity Properties with architect Goettsch Partners. A ballroom, conference room and large outdoor roof terrace are located on the historic building overlooking State Street.
Preservation Chicago, which was involved in discussion and meetings regarding this ‘orange-rated’ structure, applauds developer Convexity Properties and architect Goettsch Partners, along with Alderman Reilly and Alderman Hopkins and their staff, for their commitment to protecting and valuing the historic fabric of the original building. The rebuilt façade along with the patio and set-back from the street has all been retained and another added elegant feature is the lighting embedded in the historic terra cotta cornice. This project is a great example of how creativity, adaptive reuse and historic preservation can result in an outstanding development.
In related news, Whispers Café in the Burch Burdette-Long designed structure in Mariano Park celebrated its grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, June 24. Burch Burdette-Long was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first employees and this design was the winner from a national design competition for a park structure. New brick pavers were recently installed by the Chicago Park District, and new patio furniture is courtesy of Whispers Café. Thanks to Alderman Reilly, the Chicago Park District, and Whispers Café for helping this delightful historic element to remain a fixture in the Gold Coast. This park, along with nearby Washington Square, are among Chicago’s oldest park spaces.