- Kacy Middleton
CHI ARCHITECTURE SPOTLIGHT: CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
Chicago's recent development of the Chicago Athletic Association is one of the city's most beautiful remodels to date. Interior design firm, Roman and Williams designed the interior after the hotel was purchased by AJ Capital Partnership in 2012. The interior design mimics the exterior architecture and ornate detailing, especially noted in the second floor lounge.
The building was built in 1893 by Henry Ives Cobb as a Venetian Gothic Palace and its current facade stands strong as a powerful architectural structure. There's a variety of restaurants and bars within the hotel, including Cindy's - the roof top bar that is a prime time place for a stunning view of Chicago's Millenium Park, the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, Maggie Daly Park, the Art Institute, and more. The second floor houses a large lounge where you can find people set up with a cocktail and a laptop, and the large game room that was modeled after the olds men club that historically existed in CAA until 2007.
"Originally founded by a collection of families synonymous with American sport and athletic commerce (such as Wrigley, Comiskey, and Spalding) and architecturally developed during the Columbian Exposition, The C.A.A. was almost lost to plans of demolition in 1997-- all but save the original façade." - Roman and Williams
The custom millwork and metal details throughout the lounges and game room are undecipherable from old interior architecture, mixed with contemporary lighting that seamlessly blends to create a hip new environment in a historical setting. When comparing the old archival photos of the building to the new, you can see the homage that Roman and Williams paid to the old interior design and architecture, with a more modern spin.