Big changes at London Guarantee

Men working on the facade of the London Guarantee Building, Chicago, October 2014.
The London Guarantee and Accident Building, one of Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks, is being redeveloped.  The massive old building is more or less vacant, and crews are at work all over the exterior, which sports gaping holes where old windows and damaged stone have been removed.

The Beaux Arts-style tower, built in 1922, stands on the site of old Fort Dearborn, on what has since become the southwest corner of Michigan and Wacker.  The building offers great views of the River and the Magnificent Mile.  The investment group that now owns it is turning it into a luxury hotel.

The 21-story building reportedly changed hands for $57 million.  Included in the sale was a small adjacent lot (formerly home to one of my husband’s favorite in-city parking lots), on which a hotel addition will be built.

It’s heartening and suspenseful to see work begin on these old beauties–will the London Guarantee be more beautiful than ever once the renovation is done?

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