Chicago Motor Club Building

Chicago Motor Club Building
  1. About the Chicago Motor Club Building in Chicago
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Chicago Motor Club Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Holabird & Root and built in 1929 in Chicago, IL.

Chicago Motor Club Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The building has changed names several times over the years, and is also known as:

  • 68 East Wacker Place.
  • AAA Building.
  • Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/N Loop/Michigan Ave from 2017 until this day.

Its precise street address is 66 E. South Water street (68 E. Wacker Place), Chicago, IL. You can also find it on the map here.

The Chicago Motor Club Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of Chicago and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the Chicago Motor Club Building was officially declared as a national landmark on March 1st 2012.

The building underwent a major restoration between 2015 and 2017. The architect commissioned to undertake this restoration was Murphy Asset Management, and a team of designers.

Building's timeline

Construction completed
Declared NL
years ago

Architect and team

Holabird & Root was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

The studio was founded in Chicago in 1880, and even though it has changed names several times, the firm has evolved and is still active more than a century later.

The firm has played an important role in shaping the skyline of the windy city, and in the overall development of modern architecture in the United States.

The studio has evolved and adapted to the passage of time, from its rise with the Art Deco movement, to embracing the Modern style, and currently introducing sustainability into their designs.

Holabird Root

Holabird & Root was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Henry Ericsson and Co. as the Main Contractor.

Architectural Style

The Chicago Motor Club Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The Chicago Motor Club Building was completed in 1929, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The Chicago Motor Club Building reaches an architectural height of 236ft (72m). It has a total of 17 floors.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1929, the Chicago Motor Club Building was primarily used as Commercial space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Hotel space.

About the Hotel

The hotel is a 3 stars category hotel.

236ft (72m)

Materials & Structure

The Chicago Motor Club Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a light colored limestone cladding.