THREATENED: Creative Design Competition reimagines long-vacant Guyon Hotel (Chicago 7 2013, 2014 & 2018)

“A plan to preserve and repurpose West Garfield Park’s 1927 Guyon Hotel building eluded preservationists and developers since it was abandoned in the 1990s. However, a recent design competition by Chicago-based architecture firm CallisonRTKL in collaboration with non-profit group Preservation Chicago hopes to turn things around by offering creative solutions for breathing new life into the historic Moorish Revival style building.

“There were plans to redevelop the building into affordable housing but it hasn’t worked,” said Nicholas Spoor of CallisonRTKL. “For this competition, we encouraged big ideas with the hopes that a developer would see it and consider incorporating a piece or an aspect into future adaptive reuse plans.”

“We want to raise awareness and encourage clever solutions,” said Ward Miller of Preservation Chicago, an organization that named the Guyon Hotel to its annual list of most endangered buildings three times in the last six years. Of the five design submissions, some concepts are more far-fetched such as a rooftop carousel or floors of marijuana grow rooms. However, “a little fantasy and humor is okay,” according to Miller.” (Koziarz, 6/14/19)

In addition, a new potential buyer of the Guyon Hotel has emerged with a plan to renovate the structure, restore its exterior facades, and retrofit this building for housing. As one of the tallest and most visible structures in West Garfield Park, a restored Guyon Hotel would be a beacon of hope for the community.

Preservation Chicago is working with this developer to encourage restoration and reuse as part of ongoing efforts to seek a Chicago Landmark Designation for the building. Landmark status would allow access to a number of additional sources of redevelopment funding. We are encouraging city agencies and elected officials, in addition to 28 th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin, to assist in prioritizing the restoration of the Guyon Hotel and take steps to fill gaps in the redevelopment budget for this important but also costly and challenging, neighborhood building.

Read the full story at Curbed Chicago including the design winners and their renderings

Reimagining the Guyon Hotel: Jazz museum, cannabis farms, micro-apartments, and more; Architects have creative ideas for the historic Garfield Park building, Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago, June 14, 2019

The Guyon Hotel; The Quest for Landmark Status, Harry Huggins and Marisa Endicott, 2016


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