The ninth 21c Museum Hotel – MGallery Hotel Collection will open on February 4 in downtown Chicago. Building on the mission of 21c founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson—to bring contemporary art to the public through innovative exhibitions and programming that integrates art into daily life—the 297-room boutique hotel combined with a multi-venue art museum, located at 55 East Ontario Street, will bring a jolt of contemporary culture to Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
“We are thrilled to see the doors of this hotel open in such an established arts community as Chicago,” says Craig Greenberg, President & CEO of 21c Museum Hotels. “The hotel is ideally located just blocks from renowned arts institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Design Museum of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and is anticipated to serve as a connector between locals, visitors and the city’s vibrant art community, while also bringing the 21c experience to new audiences.”
Guest rooms are bright and airy, with a soothing color palette inspired by the sky and nearby Lake Michigan, creating a welcoming sanctuary from the busy city and energetic exhibition spaces below. Beds are accented by leather and velvet covered headboards, which extend across the full height of the wall, and rooms feature original artwork, Malin + Goetz bath amenities and luxurious bedding. Of the 297 spacious rooms, 106 of which are suites, the two signature 21c Suites feature sweeping views of downtown Chicago, an open concept floorplan with a sectional couch, dining table for six, bathroom with large soaking tub and an abundance of natural light. The property will also feature a full-service spa, 24-hour fitness center, business center, and valet parking.
Meetings & Events
The property’s 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space can accommodate a wide variety of events from board retreats and intimate cocktail parties to reception-style weddings and events for up to 300. Unique to 21c, the meeting and event space will be curated with contemporary art and open to the public as museum space when not reserved.
Art at 21c
As North America’s only multi-venue museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the art of the 21st century, 21c Chicago’s more than 10,000 square feet of exhibition space will feature rotating solo and group exhibitions, site-specific installations and a full roster of cultural programming curated by Museum Director and Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites. 21c Chicago will present a new, never-before-seen exhibition, This We Believe, which explores the power and evolution of belief systems—religious, political, economic—and how allegiance to ideology has influenced our current global culture of divisiveness and polarization. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and free of charge to the public, 21c Chicago will offer complimentary docent-led tours of current exhibitions and other cultural programming, creating a dynamic destination for locals and visitors alike.
Architecture & Design
The design team, led by New York-based Design Architect Deborah Berke Partners and GREC Architects of Chicago, sought to create both a destination for contemporary culture and a serene refuge for guests. Capitalizing fully on the building’s open, natural light-filled spaces, visitors enter the hotel into a new double-height lobby, featuring a signature staircase leading to exhibition and event spaces above. Contemporary art is integrated throughout the public areas, in keeping with 21c’s perspective that culture and hospitality enhance each other, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer passersby a view into the art experience inside the hotel.
Originally the Croydon Hotel, a gathering spot for vaudeville actors and other colorful characters, and later The James Hotel, Deborah Berke Partners spent several months reimagining the hotel as a 21c property. This is Berke’s ninth project with 21c since designing the brand’s first property, which opened in Louisville in 2006.
Rooms are now available for reservation with rates starting at $219 per night. A special introductory rate of up to 30% off stays through September 1 is available online only when using the booking code CHIPRE. Guests can earn and redeem reward points for their stays at 21c Chicago through the ALL, Accor Live Limitless lifestyle loyalty program.