In the heart of Chicago's bustling Wicker Park / Bucktown neighborhood sit two sister hotels -
The Robey & The Robey Hall.
The Robey is a modern hotel retrofitted into the Northwest Tower, an historic Art Deco masterpiece. Originally built as an office tower in 1929 and designed by Perkins, Chatten and Hammond, the Northwest tower soars 203 feet above the landscape.
The building's triangular footprint means each of the 69 rooms is full of light on a backdrop of spectacular neighborhood views.
The hotel also offers a full-service restaurant and lounge,
and a rooftop bar and pool.
Next door, The Robey Hall is nestled inside the historic 1905 Hollander Fireproof Warehouse. This trend-setting space offers 20 unique multi-bedded hotel rooms.
The street level communal area serves as lounge, lobby, bar and coffee shop, with onsite bicycle rental.
The architecture of these hotels is magnetic, a perfect Americana blend of history and modernism. Each of the two historic buildings has a distinct aesthetic, which creatively interprets the original building's functions and design.
The Robey & The Robey Hall preside over one of the city’s busiest intersections – Damen, North and Milwaukee avenues. The hotels take their name from Robey Street—which would later become Damen Avenue.
Both buildings back up to the CTA’s Blue Line and at one point the tracks are only five feet from the buildings. The team coordinated with the CTA to ensure the safety of the construction team and avoid disruption to the train schedule.
Restoring these once dangerously neglected buildings on such a prominent corner has a positive impact on the community. While Wicker Park / Bucktown is full of nightlife and restaurants, The Robey and The Robey Hall are the first hotels to open in the area.
The Wicker Park District is named after its developers, Alderman Charles G. Wicker and his brother, Joel. It has been part of Chicago since its incorporation in 1837. After Chicago's Great Fire in 1871, it flourished as home to many displaced families and commercial operations. Today, it is one of Chicago's most diverse neighborhoods.
Looking Forward, Looking After
The 203-foot tall Northwest Tower was the first high-rise built outside of Chicago’s downtown area. The mostly vacant building had been neglected for the better part of 50 years.
The Northwest Tower's main lobby featured marble wainscoting. To restore it, the team carefully removed the marble in The Robey to create pass-throughs to The Robey Hall. After removing the marble, the openings were cut to size, and the marble polished and reinstalled, creating an easy connection to the amenities of both hotels for all guests, while maintaining the historic look and feel of both.
The team worked with the National Park Service to ensure the new design maintained the building’s landmark status. About 60 percent of the buildings' brick façade had to be replaced.
Perched atop The Robey you'll see the original flagpole. Scaffolding was installed 75 feet above the roof level to recoat and reinforce the flagpole and then restore the surrounding copper. In the cupola itself, the window sashes were replaced, the lantern was repaired, and new lights were installed.
At The Robey Hall, plans for a rooftop pool meant the old roof had to be replaced. Structural steel was wrapped around the columns to ensure the structural integrity before a new roof went on.
The Robey was named one of the best new hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine and has been profiled by such acclaimed magazines as Architectural Digest and Vogue.
The Robey & The Robey Hall
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Owner/Developer: Convexity Properties
Owner’s Representative: Mark Development Advisors, Inc.
Architect of Record: Antunovich Associates
Design Architect: Delordinaire, Nicolas Schuybroek Architects + Marc Merckx Interiors
Photography: Mark Ballogg Photography
Videography: Threaded Films