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Old January 13th, 2008, 04:05 AM   #1341
Prairie Avenue
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congress hotel

They continue to pursue their lawsuit versus the alderman so I doubt this proposal goes anywhere soon. Also, Obama is using the fact that he walked the picket lines with strikers at the Congress hotel in the heat and the cold in his Nevada stump speeches and you can bet it will be a constant refrain now that the primaries are moving to more union influenced states, and Obama seeks to pick up those pro-union voters who be set loose once the Edwards campaign folds, likely after S. Carolina. The higher ups at the Congress will face some tremendous pressure should Obama be the next President.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:00 AM   #1342
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This has nothing to do with property along Wabash.

For some reason, the southwest corner of the main building is shorter by four stories than the rest. This would fill in that corner with 56 new rooms and a rooftop pool:



In addition, they want to put a nine-foot-six high restaurant on the main roof, looking out over Grant Park. It would be set back 16 feet, so would not be visible until you were east of the Metra tracks. Landmarks Permit Review Committee has already signed off on this, though I recently heard that Landmarks Illinois opposes it.

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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #1343
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Old January 13th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #1344
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I haven't heard anything about using the Buckingham Annex for storage. I did wonder why the plans didn't include replacing that building with something the same height as the hotel.

You can see the gap they're filling in on the existing building on live.com:

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...6137&encType=1
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Old January 13th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #1345
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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #1346
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The hotel's land-use attorney mentioned that they were also putting (I think) $33 million into other renovations, and specifically mentioned removing various dropped ceilings. I wanted the meeting to stay focused on the architectural/preservation aspects of the exterior additions, so I didn't follow up on that subject.
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Old January 13th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #1347
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I think that you can see the setback were the 4 story addition would be built in this picture that Retrograde took of the Spertus Museum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
This has nothing to do with property along Wabash.

For some reason, the southwest corner of the main building is shorter by four stories than the rest. This would fill in that corner with 56 new rooms and a rooftop pool:



In addition, they want to put a nine-foot-six high restaurant on the main roof, looking out over Grant Park. It would be set back 16 feet, so would not be visible until you were east of the Metra tracks. Landmarks Permit Review Committee has already signed off on this, though I recently heard that Landmarks Illinois opposes it.

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Old January 13th, 2008, 11:03 PM   #1348
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Old January 16th, 2008, 02:48 AM   #1349
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What will they do with the inside core of the hotel? Turn it into an Embassy-Suites like Atrium or keep it open with the new restaurant, workout facility, and pool constructed around the core?.

I am glad they are not getting rid of their classic Congress Hotel sign (at least it is not clear that they are).

Also, if you cannot see the new floor on top of the building west of the tracks, how good of a view could it be for someone sitting down in the restaurant? Even at the glass, you might catch the top of the trees in Grant Park, the Field Museum, and the lake.

Last edited by PrintersRowBoiler; January 16th, 2008 at 03:42 AM.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #1350
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The project DID NOT PASS the plan commission today.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #1351
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Old January 18th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #1352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy View Post
^Why? What happened?
The alderman was against it. Aparently there have many complaints from people. There have been many code violations in the past, and the alderman said that the hotel needs to clean up its act before it's given the right to expand. Basically fix what you have before you want or get more.

I agree with this stance.

I've heard people call this hotel a dump before.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #1353
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I don't know an awful lot about the hotel's background, but the owner's allegedly put "40 million" in renovations...

http://www.suntimes.com/business/745...otel17.article
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Old January 18th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #1354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1 View Post
The alderman was against it. Aparently there have many complaints from people. There have been many code violations in the past, and the alderman said that the hotel needs to clean up its act before it's given the right to expand. Basically fix what you have before you want or get more.

I agree with this stance.

I've heard people call this hotel a dump before.
It was a little bit more than that. Had to love the quote from the hotel's attorney in the Sun Times yesterday morning before the hearing -- "That the alderman had no say on the issue" -- not too smart when Alderman Burke is one of the commsioners sitting there with a vote.

Last edited by Prairie Avenue; January 18th, 2008 at 04:43 PM. Reason: wrong word
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Old January 18th, 2008, 04:42 PM   #1355
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Congress Hotel

I trust this will end the "little Bobby" banter here for awhile. This was a historic defeat. The Planning commission does not deny these applications ever, especially when Mayor Daley has come out in favor beforehand. Many in the know commented that they could not recall a single similar instance.

Additionally, the defeat was not built on the labor strife at the hotel. It was built on the inadequate investment and management of the property to date.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #1356
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The City would like nothing more than for this hotel's shady owners to sell the property.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #1357
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The City would like nothing more than for this hotel's shady owners to sell the property.
What comprises the "city?" Mayor Daley spoke out in favor of approval of the plan put forward by the owners.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #1358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Avenue View Post
I trust this will end the "little Bobby" banter here for awhile. This was a historic defeat. The Planning commission does not deny these applications ever, especially when Mayor Daley has come out in favor beforehand. Many in the know commented that they could not recall a single similar instance.

Additionally, the defeat was not built on the labor strife at the hotel. It was built on the inadequate investment and management of the property to date.
They're usually denied when aldermen in the ward where the application is filed is against it. I don't think that he has a problem with the expansion as long as they get their shit straight first.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 07:39 AM   #1359
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Quote:
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They're usually denied when aldermen in the ward where the application is filed is against it. I don't think that he has a problem with the expansion as long as they get their shit straight first.
Sorry Vic but you are dead wrong. The mayoral appointed Plan Commission has never to my knowledge not approved a city planning department promoted and Daley supported initiative. Roder called it rare. To say it's usually denied when alderman oppose is incorrect. Tell me of another similar instance. I was around a bunch of political folks Thursday night much more in the know than I in Chicago politics and every one of them agreed this was unprecedented.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 10:42 AM   #1360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairie Avenue View Post
Sorry Vic but you are dead wrong. The mayoral appointed Plan Commission has never to my knowledge not approved a city planning department promoted and Daley supported initiative. Roder called it rare. To say it's usually denied when alderman oppose is incorrect. Tell me of another similar instance. I was around a bunch of political folks Thursday night much more in the know than I in Chicago politics and every one of them agreed this was unprecedented.

You're all wet Prairie. What was (almost) unprecedented in this instance was that the proposal even got to the Plan Commission without Aldermanic support - that is the surprise here. With the silly tradition of aldermanic prerogative in this city, it was unbelievable that it got a chance to be heard before the commission at all. When was the last time we've had an alderman testify before the plan commission against approval of a project in his ward? The reason you have to actually think about the answer is that aldermen typically kill proposals before getting a fair hearing, due to their little tradition of privilege. I'm not saying it has absolutely never happened, but it's exceedingly rare because aldermen essentially control the agenda as it relates to their ward (another ridiculous implication of aldermanic prerogative). So basically you're entire premise is a false one - to represent that it's some sort of novelty that plan commission has never voted against the administration...the reason this is the case is that aldermen have never before allowed projects to receive the light of day at plan commision that they were not in favor of - if they had been allowed, plan commission would probably vote against administration-favored projects more frequently in light of aldermanic opposition. I, for one, am glad this project made it to the meeting (despite a 'no' vote which I disagree with) in the face of Little Bobbie's opposition - and hopefully this sets the stage for many more such examples in the future (children's museum, anyone?), and leads to the eventual, and already long overdue unraveling of aldermanic prerogative...
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