Hyde Park's Shoreland could set sail again

February 22, 2010


(photo by Lee Bey)

There was potential good news last week for Hyde Park's former Shoreland Hotel. The one-time luxury hotel-turned-University of Chicago dorms might have a new incarnation as upscale rental apartments.

It would be a great save if developer Antheus Capital LLC, of Englewood NJ,‚  can pull it off. The faded 84-year-old grande dame with the outstretched arms at 55th and South Shore Drive was a hub of Hyde Park life--and is a beautiful remnant of the brief‚  time between World Wars when hotels along the city's north and southern shore rivaled the ones downtown.

Those days are long gone. But the old girl still deserves to kick up her heels again.


(photo by Lee Bey)

Built in 1926 for $8 million, the 13-story Shoreland is the work of architecture and engineering firm Fridstein & Co. The hotel opened with 1,000 rooms and was built with foundations strong enough to accommodate five additional floors (that were never built) according to a Chicago Tribune story from the time. Original amenities included a golf course in the basement.

Fridstein--the architects of the Belden-Stratford at 2300 N. Lincoln Park West and Congress Theater at 2135 N. Milwaukee--clearly had some fun designing the hotel. From Burnham Park, the building comes on with the sobriety of a town parson; look closer and there is high adventure befitting an old Lakeside album cover, as a motif of ships, rolling seas, scrolls, coats of arms and other nautical exotica works its way across the building's terra cotta detailing.


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)


(photo by Lee Bey)

My fave:


(photo by Lee Bey)

The redevelopment project awaits a zoning approval process which would play out over months, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Meanwhile, the developer has put up signs on the sidewalk in front of the Shoreland showing the what the reborn building would look like:


(photo by Lee Bey)