Inn of Chicago An Ascend Collection

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The Illustrious History of the Inn of Chicago - An Ascend Collection Hotel

The Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile, a beloved historic Ascend hotel in Chicago, has had quite a fascinating history since construction began in 1927. Known as the Hotel St. Clair back then, it opened in the fall of 1928.

This was the time known as the “Roaring ‘20s” and the $3 million dollar construction price tag was considered quite steep at the time in the city of Chicago. A total of 11 floors of the Hotel St. Clair were dedicated as residential, all containing one-bedroom apartments. The 22nd floor was the spacious penthouse suite, which later housed the Chicago Press Club Headquarters from 1960 to 1978—the longest time in residence of any Press Club in the history of Chicago.

With the famous supper club Chez Paree located just one block from the hotel, the Hotel St. Clair frequently hosted a number of celebrities—including the “Adorables,” the beautiful showgirls of Chez Paree who were akin to Hollywood starlets. When the supper club closed in 1960, it marked the end of an extravagant and glamorous era in Chicago.

Celebrities who stayed at the hotel included Bob Hope, Gypsy Rose Lee, Judy Garland, Roy Rogers and Trigger, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, and Irv Kupcinet.

After that, the Hotel St. Clair was forgotten for many years until 1980 when it was purchased by a group of investors who planned to bring an affordable hotel to the popular Michigan Avenue area. Inn Development and Management, Inc. undertook an extensive $13 million renovation—said to be the most ambitious project undertaken by any hotel in Chicago as it involved completely replacing all drywall, installing new heating and air conditioning units, new electrical, plumbing, ventilation, and fire protection systems, as well as all new windows and drain lines. The Hotel St. Clair was to be renamed The Inn of Chicago and the grand re-opening was scheduled for February of 1982. The Adorables—the showgirls from back in the Chez Paree days—also came to the hotel to celebrate their grand reunion to coincide with the opening of the hotel. 

The hotel enjoyed many successful years, and then in 2003, The Inn of Chicago underwent another dramatic renovation, providing guests with 357 tastefully decorated sleeping rooms complete with all of the modern amenities that a business or leisure traveler would want. The elevators were also modernized; the exterior was meticulously restored, and the spectacular open-air 22nd floor Skyline Terrace was renovated as well.

For the past 25 years, the Inn of Chicago, a Chicago, IL historical landmark, has prided itself on our building’s illustrious heritage and our ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our guests. Again, newly renovated in 2009, the Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile is even better than ever.

The Ascend Inn of Chicago Magnificent Hotel—A Reborn Icon

The ornate Inn of Chicago neon sign now shines brightly in honor of the building's history, the brand-new Inn of Chicago Ascend hotel has been completely renovated, rebuilt, revamped and reincarnated. However, the Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile is now a contemporary, modern destination hotel for leisure and business travelers alike, leaving no detail of amenity, service or comfort overlooked.

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