“An upstart hotel company that frames itself as a cross between Airbnb and traditional inns has purchased a long-vacant West Loop landmark where it plans to spend more than $20 million turning the property into its biggest location to date.
“A venture of Chicago-based Neighborhood Hotel paid $14 million late last month for the six-story building at 801 W. Madison St., according to sources familiar with the deal. The company bought the historic 82,000-square-foot property at the southwest corner of Madison and Halsted streets—landmarked as the former Mid-City Trust & Savings Bank building—from a venture of Monaco-based investors that had owned it since the mid-1980s.
“The deal tees up the redevelopment of a building that was previously the corporate headquarters of MB Financial Bank but has sat empty for more than a decade while the area around it has changed dramatically. The Neighborhood Hotel company, which launched its first location in Lincoln Park in 2020, plans to convert the upper floors of the West Loop property into 80 apartment-style hotel units, by far the company’s largest project to date, said Neighborhood Hotel CEO Jonathan Gordon.
“‘The business plan is to offer a well-equipped and designed base camp for travelers to go immerse in a neighborhood, with all the comforts of a vacation rental but the quality of a hotel,’ Gordon said. ‘This is a special building and one of the last historic assets in the West Loop’ that has yet to be redeveloped.
“Current zoning allows a hotel on the property. The company will seek a Class L property tax designation from Cook County to move forward with the renovation, a program that lowers the assessed value on a historic property—thereby lowering its tax bill—over a 12-year period after a developer invests heavily in restoring it. Gordon projects that process and the interior work will put the hotel on track to open in early 2025.
“The 801 W. Madison building became a Chicago landmark in 2012, joining a long list of former neighborhood bank buildings the city began designating as landmarks five years earlier. The West Loop building was built in 1911 and remodeled in 1928 to add a new exterior and remodel a grand banking hall on the first two floors. The building today is flanked by a Mariano’s grocery store and luxury apartment buildings, and is kitty-corner from a Whole Foods.
“Armando Chacon, president of the West Central Association community group, called the planned redevelopment of the bank building ‘extremely significant’ and a great complement to a $2.9 million city-funded streetscape project coming to Madison Street that will include speed bumps, sidewalk improvements and pedestrian islands, among other new features.
“‘It’s been frustrating to see this building be dormant for so long. To know that it’s coming back to life is nothing short of remarkable,’ Chacon said. ‘It’s sort of the jewel of the street, and for the gateway (to Madison) to be in decay for so long has been really unfortunate.’ (Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 10/5/22)
The Former Mid-City National Bank Building was designed by architect, Horatio R. Wilson in 1911-1912, and later remodeled and expanded in 1928, by the architectural firm of Perkins, Fellows and Hamilton. The 1928 remodeling included a reconstructed first-and second-story façade, with a Classical revival-style arcade of large arched openings, clad in limestone. The revisioning and expansion of the building also included a much enlarged banking room on the first floor interior, which replaced a former theater, originally located directly behind the bank building.
In the early 2000s, a group of neighborhood bank buildings throughout Chicago were considered for designation. The initial list included seven bank buildings and in the years following the list grew. In 2012, 13 bank buildings throughout the city representing different communities and styles were given Chicago Landmark Designation. The Mid-City National Bank was also given a Chicago Landmark Designation that same year. With this designation the Mid-City National Bank Building was the beneficiary of the expanded and revised Adopt-A-Landmarks program, though a grant offer by the City of Chicago. This resulted with funding for the recreation of the original cornice design which was restored after being lost for decades. The building’s cornice was recreated with glass reinforced concrete-GRFC with this City grant and extends 133’ along Halsted and 126’ along Madison Street, giving the structure a highly finished appearance and restoring the 1928 design.
For reference, the 13 banks designated in 2012, included: the Belmont-Sheffield Trust and Savings Bank, (architect, John Nyden & Co. 1928-1929), located at 1001 W. Belmont; The Fullerton State Bank, (Karl M. Vitzthum, 1923), 1425 W. Fullerton; the Marquette Park State Bank, (Karl Vitzthum, 1924), 6314 S. Western Avenue; the Cosmopolitan State Bank, (Schmidt, Garden & Martin, 1920), 801 N. Clark Street; South Side Trust and Savings, (Albert Schwartz, 1922) 4659 S. Cottage Grove Avenue and The Kimbell Trust and Savings Bank, (William Gibbons Uffendell, 1924) 3600 W. Fullerton Avenue. Also, the Calumet National Bank, (John A. Domickson, 1910), 9117 S. Commercial Avenue; Sheridan Trust and Savings Bank, (Marshall & Fox, 1924 and Huszagh & Hill, 1928), 4753 N. Broadway; Chicago City Bank and Trust, (Abraham Epstein, 1930), 815 W. 63rd Street, Marshfield Trust and Savings, (William Gibbons Uffendell), 3321 N. Lincoln Avenue; Stock Yards National Bank, (Abraham Epstein, 1924), 4150 S. Halsted Street, Hyde Park-Kenwood National Bank, (Karl Vitzthum) 1525 E. 53rd Street, and the Swedish American State Bank, (Ottenheimer, Stern & Reichert, 1913), at 5400 N. Clark Street.
The Laramie State Bank was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1995, followed by the Noel State Bank in 2007, the Pioneer Bank in 2012, along with the Mid-City Bank in 2012. Additionally both the Laramie State Bank and the Pioneer State Bank are both to be restored and repurposed as part of larger developments, inspired by the INVEST South/West programs, developed under Mayor Lightfoot administration, with Commissioner Maurice Cox and under the City’s Department of Planning and Development.
Preservation Chicago has been a longtime advocate for many of the Chicago Landmark bank buildings. We are pleased to see the Mid-City Bank Building adaptively reused by new ownership after many years of vacancy.