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21c Museum Hotels Begins Renovation of The James Hotel in Chicago

21c Chicago set to open in fall 2019

21c Museum Hotels, the award-winning boutique hotel and restaurant group, will begin the renovation of The James Hotel located at 55 E Ontario Street in downtown Chicago. The property officially closed Tuesday, December 4, 2018, for renovation. 21c Museum Hotel Chicago, expected to open in the fall of 2019, is a combination boutique hotel, multi-venue contemporary art museum and independently branded, chef-driven restaurant.

21c Chicago will be the company’s ninth and largest property to date, with 297 guest rooms and suites. Building on the founders’ mission to bring contemporary art to the public through innovative exhibitions and programming that integrates art into daily life, 21c Chicago will feature more than 10,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting and event space showcasing rotating curated exhibitions, interactive site-specific art installations and a roster of cultural programming based on collaborations with local and national arts organizations. Welcoming local residents and visitors alike, the museum will be open free of charge to the public, 365 days a year. The property will also feature a unique, chef-driven food and beverage concept, full-service spa, business center, and fitness center.

Deborah Berke Partners will serve as the design architect for the project. This will be Berke’s ninth project with 21c since designing the first property, which opened in downtown Louisville in 2006.

21c Museum Hotels, an award-winning hospitality company based in Louisville, Kentucky, is pushing the boundaries of both the museum and hotel worlds to create a new kind of travel experience. The company was founded as a single property by contemporary art collectors and preservationists Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, whose mission was to share innovative contemporary art with the public and participate in the revitalization of downtown Louisville. The couple opened the first 21c in 2006 along downtown’s West Main Street, rehabilitating a series of 19th-century warehouses to create a union of genuine hospitality, thoughtful design and culinary creativity — all anchored by a contemporary art museum. Today, 21c operates eight museum hotels in Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; Bentonville, Arkansas; Durham, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee, Oklahoma City; Oklahoma; and Kansas City, Missouri. 21c projects are also under development in Chicago, Illinois; and Des Moines, Iowa. The company is equally focused on creating unique, chef-driven restaurants that are as much a part of the community as each hotel. The 21c restaurant portfolio includes; Proof on MainMetropoleThe HiveCounting HouseLockboxMary Eddy’s Kitchen x LoungeGray and DudleyThe Savoy, and Garage Bar.


For press information contact:

Jennifer Petrisko
21c Museum Hotels

Kelsey Whited
21c Museum Hotels