The Robey & Robey Hall adaptive reuse project brings 89 hotel rooms to the bustling Damen/North/Milwaukee intersection in Chicago’s Wicker Park/Bucktown.
The Robey occupies the Landmark twelve-story North West Tower (1929). Its Art Deco design motifs inspired the interior design of the reception area, restaurant, bars and 69 guest rooms. The building’s decorative concrete spandrels, buckling brick, and buff limestone panels were repaired/restored during the comprehensive exterior restoration. New window instillation includes replicated storefronts and upper floor, aluminum-clad wood windows; the cupola lantern was restored and illuminated. The historic lobby was restored and the upper office floors reconfigured for new rooms. Office doors and marble paneling were salvaged and reinstalled in the corridors. New amenities include a 1st floor restaurant, 2nd floor lounge and meeting spaces, and a new rooftop lounge.
Robey Hall occupies the historic Hollander Fireproof Warehouses Building (1905). The long-vacant Hollander was rehabilitated to house guest accommodations and support and mechanical spaces for The Robey. The terra cotta base and brick façades were restored and replica windows installed at upper floors. The property’s North Avenue communal area contains a lounge, lobby, bar and coffee shop, with an onsite bicycle rental and repair shop and laundry room.
This complex rehabilitation project combined two historic buildings and constructed a third building to service the hotel and restaurants. The three buildings share mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The project’s location next to the elevated CTA tracks required innovative acoustical solutions and close coordination with the transit authority during the work.
The Robey & Robey Hall project is an exemplar mixed-use urban adaptive reuse project, rehabilitating two existing historic commercial buildings and locating infill construction on a former surface parking lot. The project retained valuable existing historic buildings and street fronts on Milwaukee and North Avenues, a major six-corner intersection in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood. The hotel, restaurant and retail components of the project maximize the adjacency to multiple modes of public transit (CTA rail and bus). The project was designed with a green roof system and with an efficient MEP system, that was creatively positioned within and routed through the historic buildings.
The project complies with the City of Chicago’s Sustainability Policy Matrix (2014) for Planned Developments and Class L Property Tax abatement projects. The project features a green roof tray system over 50% of the net roof area (located on roof of the Robey and on the new construction - surface lot infill - portion). The Project was designed to exceed ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standards by 14%, which has been confirmed by the MEP engineer’s energy model of the comprehensive project.
The Robey & Robey Hall project is well-served by multiple public transit options for guests and City residents alike.
• CTA Rail: Damen Blue Line Station
• CTA Bus Lines: #72 (North Avenue), #56 (Milwaukee Avenue) and #50 (Damen Avenue).
• Parking spaces per occupant: Zero. The project does not provide parking for hotel guests or retail customers.
• Walk Score rating: The address has a Score Rating of 99.
• An on-site bicycle rental complements the public transit connections.
The project complies with the City of Chicago’s Sustainability Policy Matrix (2014) for Planned Developments and Class L Property Tax abatement projects. The project features a green roof tray system over 50% of the net roof area (located on roof of the Robey and on the new construction portion). This green roof system absorbs rainfall and slows the release into the roof drain system.
As an urban adaptive reuse project, The Robey & Robey Hall project withheld significant volume of construction debris from the waste stream by retaining and rehabilitating two historic buildings. Alternately, demolition of these buildings would have sent all the construction debris into the waste stream. The rehabilitation of these historic buildings retained their embodied material energy but also retain the cultural energy invested in the buildings over the past century.