May 20, 2011

Apartment Hotels to SRO's

Residential Hotels & Cooperatives 
to a Bed & Breakfast
People with comfortable incomes might move to Chicago and never live anywhere except in a hotel-like environment. A room or suite of rooms in a palatial hotel (for the rich) or a middle-priced hotel (for those of middle income) were luxurious, conveniently located, and cheaper than maintaining a private house in the city. Residential Hotels gave Chicago 'residents of means' an access and social interaction with some of the wealthiest residents of the city. - Encyclopedia of Chicago (edited)
Read another review of residential hotels with this link.
(click on all images/articles to enlarge)
rendering - Art Institute of Chicago via Explore Chicago
In other words, in the late 19th and early 20th century 'residential or apartment hotels' sometimes called 'flats' (pay weekly or monthly rent) would allow residents of the multi-floor building the freedom from ownership maintenance to the building as a whole. The owner like apartment owners currently would have the responsibility of the maintenance costs. This was a transitional period between modern hotels and apartments. In the post, I will highlight most types of hotel living.
A Review from
The Chicagoan 1927
(click to enlarge)
 page 2
Cambridge (Residential) Hotel
postcard - Calumet412
built in 1919 according to Sanborn Fire Map
below postcard - Ebay
(a residential hotel)
 
 
built 1895 and regarded as the largest buildings in its' day
Articles of High Finance and a Fire
The 1902 Fire
(click to enlarge article)
1910 photo - Chuckman Collection
High Finance 
articles - 1913
 1916
 1918
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
 Commodore Apartments 
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
 view from the Green Brier Apartments across the street 

2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
next to the old Surf Hotel - Willow Hotel
 The Green Brier main entrance 
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
The Green Brier entrance 
 Luxury Rental Service ad - Chicagoan

 
view other construction notice articles
 in another blog post called 'Land & Real Estate'
The Rienzi Beer Garden & Cafe
an evolution from a Beer Garden to Residencial Hotel
postcard image - Chuckman Collection
The Rienzi Beer Garden & Cafe
The beer garden may have been located on the northwest corner of Clark and Diversey Boulevard (Parkway) or the manufacturer of this postcard thought it was more market-able to list to tourists as a more recognizable street instead of Evanston Avenue (Broadway) in the late 19th century.
The above image is from the Riezni Cafe
photo - Chicago History in Postcards
Beer garden space 1910 
Booze Discovered
1921
Mob Action 1923
image - Ebay
...To a hotel of the same name in 1922
1920's postcard - Chuckman Collection
News of the New Hotel 1922
postcard - Chuckman Collection
 The hotel was located along Diversey Parkway east of Broadway, a half a block away from the old beer garden
Business card front and back - unknown date Ebay
matchbook image - Ebsay
Location Location Location
From this same spot in 1860 stood the 'mustering' Civil War Camp called Camp Fry that was once referred to as the area of  Wright Woods and later the subdivision of Wright Grove.
image Lake View Saga
1894 Sanborn Fire Map 
highlights a pavilion of the original cafe - box shape image
1923 Sanborn Fire Map
highlights the new Rienz Hotel and a restaurant to the left
This 1950 Sanborn Fire Map highlights the Hotel Rienz & the Curtis building on the corner of Broadway and Diversey with 
Rendezvous Cafe in the Hotel Rienz
"On the second floor of the Rienzi, was a dance club that went thru a series of name changes in three decades. In 1923, a former manager of the Green Mill opened the Rendezvous. In 1928, the Rendezvous was padlocked by Federal Agents and shut down for a year. The Rendezvous reopened as the Alladin, and then in the late 30's became The Famous Door. It became the Paddock Club in the 40's, and then the [Curtiss] building was torn down in 1982 to make way for the high rise condo" called Lincoln Park Plaza
Called the Prima Gardens by 1921
A Mob Story at Rendezvous Cafe
apparently located in the Curtiss Candy Building 
 Joe Lewis was for famous comedian of the roaring 20's who after his contract expired told the manager of the Green Mill that he was to sign a new contract with the manager of the New Rendezvous. As mentioned above the Green  Mill's sponsor was the infamous Al Capone while the New Rendezous was under the control of his rival Bugs Moran. A story of drama of the roaring 1920's came to Lake View
The Rienzi Arcade 
to be known as the Bensinger' Pool Hall decades later
“According to the publication ‘That Toddlin Town, Chicago White Dance bands from 1900-1950’, the Rienzi Hotel occupied the site of Reinzi. On the second floor of the Reinzi, was a dance club that went thru a series of name changes in three decades. In 1923, a former manager of the Green Mill opened the Rendezvous. In 1928, the Rendezvous was padlocked by Federal Agents and shut down for a year. The Rendezvous reopened as the Alladin, and then in the late 30's became the Famous Door. It became the Paddock Club in the 40's, and then the building was torn down in the late 80's to make way for the high rise condo.” 
– Forgotten Chicago
The Business's Within
images - Chuckman Collection 
with different phone nbrs

... and decades later in the basement of the hotel was 
Bensinger Billiards Academy
once located in the Curtis Building - entrance on Broadway
 photo - Saul Smaizys via Forgotten Chicago on Facebook
Read and join-in on the commentary on Facebook 
with the above link
Initially called the Bensinger's Pool Hall and originally located in at its last Loop location on Randolph Street. According to a 1950 Sanborn Fire Map the pool-hall was located in the Curtiss location with a basement entrance on Broadway.
 pool hall at this location 
Hustling for pool money was the game as well  attracting some interesting crowd of folks.
Next to it was .... 
The Curtiss Building
just west of the Rienzi Hotel 
and on the same corner location as the original Rienzi Cafe
I mentioned this building because the hotel and this building was demolished to constructed what was finally to became as Lincoln Park Plaza

Curtiss Candy Company moves in 1929

1943 view along Diversey Parkway west highlight not only the Rienzi Hotel & Curtiss Building but in the forefront the former Cambridge Hotel currently rental apartments
The Rienzi Plaza Complex
This 1981 development replaced both the Curtiss building and the old Rienzi Hotel
1988 ad of the Rienzi Plaza currently 
called Lincoln Park Plaza 
 the evolution of this corner continues ...
In 2012 old plans become new again with the re-development of Diversey-Broadway corner 

Park Lane Hotel

postcard - Ebay
page 2
 photo - Chuckman Collection
The Chicagoan 1929
The Chicagoan 1930
 
 
Matchbooks  - Ebay
This ‘beaux arts’ building was completed in 1927 and has been known over time as the Parc Lane Apartments, Sheridan-Surf Apartments and Diversey Harbor Apartments. Currently called 2850 Sheridan Apartments, this 12 story structure has a limestone base, a brick shaft and an elaborately ornamented terra cotta cornice. – Yo Chicago
The Barry
The Hotel Belmont 
postcard - Chicago History in Postcards
That Corner Property Bought - 1916
The Hotel
showing the original LSD prior to 1937
showing the renovated and extended LSD during the construction periods of 1937-1942
1927 advertisement
1924 blueprint advertisement
1924 photo - Chicago History Museum via Explore Chicago Collection with the General Sheridan monument in the forefront, The Belmont Hotel to the left, 
and the Lockby Apartments to the right
- once the home of Mayor Big Bill Thompson
1924 photo of Directoire Dining Room 
via Reside Living
the then and the now view 
of the English Cocktail Lounge
photos - Yo Chicago & Chuckman Collection
This former hotel 
was redesigned into apartments in the 1990's
A planned development 1923

The Chicagoan
The Chicagoan 1931

The Chicagoan
The Chicagoan 1932
The Chicagoan
The Chicagoan
1927 postcard - Chuckman Collection
Built in 1927 until 'Reside Living' bought it in 1989
Robbery at the Belmont 1933



a vintage teapot - Ebay
photo - Ebay
The Chicagoan
The Chicagoan 1933
The Chicagoan 1933
Home of  Angelo Genna
‘The Belmont [Hotel] was the home of Angelo "Bloody Angelo" Genna (February 3, 1898 - May 26, 1925) was a Chicago bootlegger and organized crime leader during the Prohibition Era [1919-1933]. 
The leader of his own Sicilian crime family, he was best known for his war with the North Side Gang leader, Charles Dean O'Banion. Genna masterminded the assassination of O'Banion in November 1924. On May 26, 1925, Moran, Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci, and Hymie Weiss shot and wounded Genna numerous times during a high-speed car chase, causing Genna to crash his car into a lamp post at Hudson and Ogden Avenues. Angelo was rushed to the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. When police asked Genna who shot him, he merely shrugged. He died shortly afterwards.’ 
A contributed narrative from David M Laz via Original Chicago-Facebook
 Remodeling in 1954
Matchbook from Chuckman Collection
Matchbook - Ebay
Get Your Drink on @ The Cove-Belmont Hotel!
 
Bar Menu as of 1943 - Chuckman Collection
 image - Heidi Gosen via Pinterest


 
The Cove 
matchbooks front and back - Ebay
The Tango Room
1973-1986

The Tango, an airy, romantic room in the Belmont Hotel decorated with Andy Warhol’s Mao and art by Peter Max. It featured fresh fish all flown in from the East Coast. 
photo - 'After the Pop' with article 
Wine stewards, salad waiters, maitre d' with great escargot and Duckling A L'Orange and a list of 200 wines. 
with Chef George Badonsky
who began in Lake View with 'The Brewery' on 3100 block of Broadway in 1970 with its selection of good beers, contemporary salads and great burgers, in a very hip and young environment, full of greenery, it was way ahead of its time in the field of what would be called later gastro-pubs for young and active crowds.
1974 Chicago Daily Tribune ad
Then and Now photo - Reside Living
By 1993 the hotel was purchased by a rental company called Reside Living and converted the building for modern use. View more photos of the current look of this hotel via EveryBlock and Yo Chicago. 
A Mob Story at Belmont Hotel
(February 3, 1898 - May 26, 1925) was a Chicago bootlegger and organized crime leader during the Prohibition era. The leader of his own Sicilian crime family, he was best known for his war with the North Side Gang leader, Charles Dean O'Banion. Genna masterminded the assassination of O'Banion in November 1924. On May 26, 1925, Moran, Vincent "The Schemer" Drucci, and Hymie Weiss shot and wounded Genna numerous times during a high-speed car chase, causing Genna to crash his car into a lamp post at Hudson and Ogden Avenues. Angelo was rushed to the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital. When police asked Genna who shot him, he merely shrugged. He died shortly afterwards. - David M Laz via Original Chicago-Facebook
Montfield Hotel
3150 N Sheffield Avenue
Alan Halfen via Forgotten Chicago-Facebook 1950's
Just beyond the famous Merry Garden Ballroom to the right is a sign reading 'HOTEL' - the entrance of Sheffield
The hotel was located on the 4th through 6th floors of the old Belmont-Sheffield Trust & Savings bank building on the Belmont Avenue and Sheffield. The signage is visible in the distance - left side of photo
photo - Chicago in Photograph
The Montfield Hotel which used to be located at 3146 North Sheffield on floors four through six struggled with vacancy until 1984, when a developer received a federal loan to convert the Montfield Hotel into 54 apartments, maintaining stores on the ground floor. The building was sold again to another developer and the upper floors were converted into loft condos in 2005, which are now listed at the address 3150 N Sheffield.
According to the article below the hotel and then later the entire upper floors were converted to apts by 1984.
The Diversey Arms Hotel
1925 photo - Calumet412
1951 view from Diversey Parkway with the 
Hotel Rienzi in the far right
1923 Sanborn Fire Map of the area
1923 map zoomed of the 'filling station'
before the hotel was built in 1924
1950 Sanborn Fire Map of the hotel & Century Theater
Reorganization of Debt 
The Great Depression of 1929 caused havoc to property values and the bond market as this 1932 article attests
1958 - from Chicago Past Collection
Diversey Arms Hotel located on the corner of Clark Street and Diversey Parkway is now the home of the Days Inn. 
to the The Day's Inn ...
2016 photo - Day's Inn
'The Days Inn Chicago has been known by many names, like the "Rock and Roll Days Inn" and the "Chicago Boutique Hotel - Days Inn on Diversey," but its history is entirely one of a kind. Many performers have stayed at our Chicago hotel throughout the years, and few hotels can boast a guest list that includes Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Black Keys, to name but a few. Back in the day, bands staying at the hotel meant discolored bathtubs from hair dye, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love…, Sheryl Crow rollerblading through the hotel lobby (not permitted), a front desk clerk doing laundry for the Goo Goo Dolls, Alanis Morissette bringing sushi to a front desk clerk, musicians sitting in the lobby playing the guitar.
Rock Performers Who Stayed There
The famous 'rockers' who have patronized the hotel are the following: Greg Allman, John Lee Hooker Jr, Radiohead, Alanis Morissette, Dave Mathews Band, Wilco,
Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Cardigans, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana,Sheryl Crow, Nelly Furtado, Greg Allman, Ben Harper, and Ziggy Marley.' 
- from their website as of 2016
main lobby 
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
 main lobby 
 2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
2016 photo - Day's Inn
breakfast area next to mini gym
photo - Day's Inn
the suite welcome booklet
2016 photo - Garry Albrecht
The name, Hotel Versey, pays tribute to its original namesake (The Diversey Arms), while playfully fusing in a tie to the hotel’s V-shaped structure of its triangular city block, on the highly visible corner of Clark Street, Broadway, and Diversey Parkway according to their website.
photos via Curbed Chicago


The Palis Brompton 
aka Majestic Hotel 
a this for that transaction 1924
main floor entrance area
2014photo - Majestic Hotel-Facebook
The Palis Brompton known currently as the Majestic Hotel is located on Brompton Avenue near Broadway Avenue across the street for the old Tilt Estate (Salvation Army training facility) - that is on corner Addison and Broadway Avenue. 
The Surf Ridge Apartments
currently the Willows Hotel
To the Willow Hotel
2016 photo Garry Albrecht
next to the Commodore Apartments (former Lessing)
2016 photo Garry Albrecht
next to the Commodore Apartments (former Lessing)
main lobby area
2014 photo - Willow-Facebook
Down the Block a Piece was the ...
Sheridan-Surf Apartment Hotel
423-5 Surf Street
photo - University of Chicago via Explore Chicago
And then at the corner of Pine Grove & Surf
The Surf Hotel

 matchbook - Ebay
1921 Chicago Daily Tribune ad
postcard - Chicago Ancestors
and next door...
photo - University of Chicago via Explore Chicago
Commonwealth Hotel
UIC photo unknown date

Postcard front and back - unknown date 
- CowCard via Curt Teich & Company that was located on Ravenswood Ave. and Irving Park Road in old Lake View.
photo - Chicago History in Postcards
Time to Recycle 1981
The Wellington Arms Hotel 
Once located on corner of Wellington and Sheridan Road. 
-post card front and back 1939 CowCard 
blueprint image - Art Institute of Chicago
635 W Barry Avenue with enlargement

 
matchbooks - Ebay
The Barry Avenue (residential) Hotel
with a 2015 Google View 
The Lincoln Park Arms Hotel
2738 North Pine Grove Avenue
The Briar
open to the public 2018
This hotel is part of the Wrigley Field
renovations and planned development that began in 2014
 edited image - Chicago Tribune
image - Curbed Chicago 
image - Hotel Zachary website 
 image - Hotel Zachary website 
 image - Hotel Zachary website 
 image - Hotel Zachary website 
 image - Hotel Zachary website 
 image - buildingupchicagodotcom
  image - buildingupchicagodotcom
 images - buildingupchicagodotcom
 The Single Room Occupant Apartments
Those SRO's
An advertisement from the magazine called Gay Chicago (1970's?) highlighted the single rooms to rent that had locations across the landscape of the neighborhood. The last of the SRO's in LakeView were closed in 2013. 
These former 'resident hotels' were most often neglected buildings that landlord owners, in my opinion, would 'milk' from the poor or homeless on a day-to-monthly rate basis. Most if not all the mentions in the segment have been converted to market rate accommodations. Some are still affordable to the working poor.  
Belleaire Hotel
built in 1925 according to Sanborn Fire Map
... and then a name change
Back of postcard reads: Belair Hotel - 300 Rooms; each equipped with Private Bath, Single Rooms from $2.50 to $4.00. Excellent Transportation -only 15 minutes to Down Town. 
 The Belair Hotel located at Diversey Parkway near Sheridan Road - Chicago History in Postcards - unknown date
Many flats or 'apartment hotels' were grand in style and amenities while many others were more simpler in design and luxuriates. 
Kitchenettes were the rage in Chicago in 1930's

Matchbook - Ebay unknown date
View more photography of this former hotel via Flickr. 
The new look for a former SRO/apartment hotel

photos - Lake View Patch 2013
Sheffield House Hotel
3834 N Sheffield
currently called
The 3834 Sheffield

photo - Lake View Patch

The Sheffield House located @ 3834 Sheffield Avenue and once known as the Hotel Carlos where the Cubs would stay in the early 20th century and featured in the 1984 movie called The Natural
July 6, 1932 - Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges is injured by a gunshot in a struggle over a handgun with showgirl Violet Valli at the Hotel Carlos ( where Jurges lived during the season). Jurges was romantically linked to Valli and he refused to press charges against her. He returned to the Cubs to play in the 1932 World Series. 
- Greg Stewert via Original Chicago-Facebook
The Abbott Hotel
 Abbott Hotel located on Belmont Avenue across the street to Mt. Carmel Parish and school with its' vintage marquee.
According to Chicago Now, 'this building has been purchased by real-estate mogul Jamie Purcell. Most of the residents have left, but 37 remain. They have reported that the rent has increased $10 a day and now must be paid daily - an increased burden for extremely low-income people. In early December, it was announced that the building would be closed by the end of the year and residents were being urged to find new housing.' 
The building is currently called 721 Belmont.
The many lives of the Abbott Hotel
Abbott Hotel - 2012
Pinterest contributor Richard Harold
2012 News of renovation to a possible new SRO.
2013 This year's news about the former SRO.
Hotel Chateau
photo - Jeff Z via Yelp
photo - Lake View Patch
protest about a loss of another SRO

photo - Lake View Patch 
 photo - Lake View Patch 
 photo - Lake View Patch 
 photo - Lake View Patch 
 photo - Lake View Patch 
2014   A new chapter for this former Belmont Avenue 
photo - Ebay
Apartment Hotel began not without controversy
These articles tell a tale about the colorful history of this single room hotel for rent 
(click to enlarge articles)

View more photography of this former SRO via Flickr.
Once known as the Broadway-Sheridan
The original name of the hotel was the Broadway - Sheridan Hotel as of 1923. The owner, Albert Fuchs planned an a hotel complex that would wrap around the block with his classic style theater (Chateau Theater) to complete the 'wrap around' on Grace Street. Apparently, Mr. Fuchs did not complete the wrap - around project so that only one section of the massive project remains. View the illustration below. 
The complex of buildings struggled to survive
 
View a more detailed view of this sign via Flickr
View the other neon signs of the area 

The Chateau was the last remaining SRO in Lakeview, but it may not last. The building was a continuous topic in housing court and was shut down and resold. It still has 100 units of somewhat affordable rental housing according to Chicago Now. This apartment hotel had a connection with a bank robber named John Dillinger during the early years of the Great Depression. This article below tells a short tale.
photo - DNAinfo
In 2012 was just another day in court for safety violations for the owner of this building. In 2013 the building was sold with future of the residents in doubt as well as the 
business owners on the ground floor. 

residents before the transition
a protester for residents tenant rights
photos - DNAinfo
The developer of the new Chateau released the new look of the building later in the year. Listen to a podcast about the last SRO in LakeView and the future of SRO's in the north-side. Currently this building is simply called 3838 N Broadway.
unknown date - image Ebay
This non-resident hotel was originally called the Sheffield Hotel located near the corner of Belmont Ave. @ Sheffield 
Another view of this vintage sign via Flickr
April 2011: The Department of Housing and Economic Development seeks proposals for the redevelopment of the former Diplomat Hotel into subsidized, studio supportive housing (SRO). The building is vacant and requires extensive  remodeling. Successful respondents must be able to demonstrate experience in developing and managing supportive housing. 
The City department will work with the successful respondent in structuring a financial package using various forms of tax credits and other financial assistance including sale of the property for $1.00. In 2014 this building is called the Buffet Place according to DNAinfo. Still many became homeless.
2005 photo - Wibiti.com
Resident Efrem Simmons homeless once again from the Diplomat Hotel 
a transitional photo - Streetwise

2012  Plans to transform the former Diplomat Hotel into housing for people with mental illness are officially moving forward after the City of Chicago recently sold the four-story building in Lake View to a development group for just one dollar. 
the rehabbed building as of October 2013 
The Diplomat used to have 99 units of affordable rental housing until it was shut down and vacated by the city in 2009 for numerous code violations. Former owner Jack Gore eventually lost the building to the city after accumulating more than $1 million in fines. The building will now be used by Thresholds social service agency and house 51 severely mentally ill people according to Chicago Now.
The Ambers Hotel 
My source for this buildings is Lift-Chicago
photo - Yelp
photo - The Chicago Block
This building has been purchased by real-estate mogul Jamie Purcell. Purcell vacated it in 2012 and is converting it to high-end rental housing. This 250-unit SRO was closed down in 2011 when it was purchased by real estate mogul, Jamie Purcell according to Chicago Now.
This former flop-house was really crappy, shady place; lots of junkies and drug dealers hang in here. Some rooms have to share a bathrooms with the adjacent room according to a commenter from Yelp.
Lincoln-Belmont Hotel
This hotel was closed in 2006, demolished and a condo building was built on the land in 2009. 
Hotel Julian
This SRO last operated in 2005 and was replaced by a Pot Belly and Jamba Juice on street level with condos above. The Julian used to be owned by the Labunski family, who ran Cedar Realty. They also owned The Ambers Hotel, but sold both to alleged slumlord & political connected Jack Gore. The former hotel was adjacent to the [Swedish operated] Julian Theater that was also demolished in 2005 according to Chicago Now.
Bellwood Hotel
 photos - Yelp
The Belmont Towers Apartments
photo - Zumper
The Bel-Ray Hotel
Currently own and operated by Mercy Housing
Note: Here is a map of some of the SRO's list above
A Single Room Occupancy 
To Modern Hotel  
Built in 1926 in the federal architectural style 
was originally called the Hawthorne Arms Hotel
currently Hawthorne Terrace - Best Western
This blogger remembers in the early 1990's that his building located between a public parking garage and a grocery store was a less than colorful segment of Broadway Avenue located 1 1/2 blocks from my studio apartment building. Across the street is the Hawthorne Historical District. In 2005 Frommer's Guide called it a former flop house. This hotel chain did an excellent job rehabbing this eye sore in the mid-1990's. Below are some articles of the buildings past.
Its' Past: The Gang 1929
 
and more drama in 1931
The Bed and Breakfast's 
of Lake View
I have walked along Halsted Street past this vintage house for the last 20 years and always thought of as my
'in-state' vacation get-away. One day, maybe this blogger will!
Artwork from Misc. Work 
This old 'brown stone' is located at 3222 North Sheffield Avenue. The owner of this B&B writes a simple blog about events in Lake View called Virginia's Little Guide.
Chicago Southport Suites
 photo - Southport Corridor News & Events
photo - Zillow
the replacement - JoAnne Sells Chicago
And just down the road a peg is the Chicago Southport Suites.  According to Southport Corridor News and Events the biz closed in 2015. - advertised more as an Inn than a B&B. in 2016 the building was to be demolished for a new commercial development.

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