• Cook County Hospital To Be Restored as Hotel, Museum, Food Hall and More

     
    POSTED June 24, 2020
     

After almost 20 years of vacancy, the Cook County Hospital in Chicago will be put to use once again. A $150 million adaptive reuse project restored the historic, 106-year-old hospital, which has become a combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel, as well as medical offices, a museum, a food hall and more. While the opening is multi-phased, the hotels are scheduled to open in late July.  

“We are excited to introduce the first combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels to the Chicago area, while also paying homage to such an incredible landmark,” says general manager Nilesh Pandey.

Together, the Hyatts will offer 103 guest rooms and 107 apartment-style suites, as well as a 24-hour fitness center and 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Aimbridge Hospitality will operate the hotels. 

The public spaces in the hotel will reflect the Beaux-Arts classical style architecture of the original Cook County Hospital. Although the interior of the building was mostly gutted, the surgical theaters on the eighth floor were left intact, as well as the original marble stone staircase, restored in the double-height hotel lobby. On the exterior, new windows and 4,160 new pieces of terra-cotta ornamentation were $18 million of the project’s budget.   

The Cook County Hospital is on the National Register of Historic Places, as it held the world’s first blood bank. It's located near the University of Illinois Chicago and Rush University. While the hotels, Hyatt Place Chicago Medical/University District and Hyatt House Chicago Medical/University District, will open in late July, Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall, the museum and other amenities in the building are slated for an August opening. 

Jumpstarting tourism in cities across the country will be more complicated than simply opening doors again – especially in cities with large populations like Chicago. However, working together proves more effective, and in Chicago, more than 250 businesses are banding together to join Choose Chicago’s new initiative, Tourism & Hospitality Forward. It bolsters a safe reopening that encourages tourism as well as meetings and events in

 

The new reality for in-person meetings and events is coming into focus. While gatherings were cancelled or went virtual during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, states are now slowly beginning to reopen and move toward a return to in-person gatherings. Associated Luxury Hotels International, or ALHI, published safety recommendations for planners, hotels, airlines and more, as society begins to formulate safety guidelines for travel, tourism, meetings and events.  

 

The U.S. Travel Association has called the current moment the “Great Travel Depression,” in light of the economic effects resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.