Curbed Chicago

Burlington Room: Former Union Station Ladies Lounge

Chicago's Union Station has recently renovated a gem of a space, The Burlington Room, formerly a lounge for women travelers in the heyday of train travel. This space will replace the Great Hall as an event facility, and I have no doubt that it will be incredibly popular. The beautiful architectural work was done by Goettsch Partners, as well as some very incredible restoration work from EverGreene Architectural Arts. Definitely check out the full coverage on Curbed Chicago to see the images of the space before the renovation as well!

Rockit Bar & Grill: River North Redesign by Kara Mann

In celebration of it's 10th birthday, Rockit Bar & Grill spent five months redesigning their entire River North space. The interior designer, Kara Mann, successfully married River North sophistication with a rock-and-roll edge. The two styles join together seamlessly with upscale fixtures and materials in a dark space. Street art and floral upholstery, brick walls and brass taps, raw steel and marble - proving the phrase 'opposites attract' to be entirely true. Read more about the grand re-opening here.


Loved the vibe of Rockit? You can see more of Kara Mann's interior design work in my OneEleven shoot here.

Virgin Hotel Chicago: The Rooftop Bar

Hot on the heels of Virgin Hotel's Chicago opening, the rooftop has been revealed to the public adding to the list of great cocktails to enjoy whilst sitting amongst the Chicago skyline. We were very excited to work with Virgin Hotels again on this big project that has elevated their popularity even more!

Cards Against Humanity Headquarters: An Office Space for Horrible People

First off, after having met a number of people within the company, I can confidently say that none of the Cards Against Humanity employees are horrible. Actually, everything about my visit to their headquarters was awesome! With a plethora of common spaces, the office had a strongly collaborative vibe. Really, what's more collaborative than a Moroccan hookah room? I'm guessing that's where some of the best cards have been thought up...

House Calls: Salvaged Wood Haven in Bridgeport

One of the most striking things about touring this home was realizing that it was a bit like taking a portrait of its owners. The Bridgeport couple dreamed up every last detail of their ideal home and made it into a reality. There was no shortage of personality in each room, as the space serves as a canvas for their personal taste. The salvaged materials and simple but refined finishes matched the character of the neighborhood perfectly. Really glad to have gotten the opportunity to photograph this home!

House Call: FLATS Micro Apartment

FLATS Micro apartments appeal to individuals who thrive in small spaces just like Richard Smith does, the renter of the space I shot for Curbed Chicago. I have to say, I was impressed with how neat and tidy everything was and how I felt like I should go home and purge some of my old stuff. After chatting with him a bit, he told me how much he loves his apartment and the challenge of only keeping his most essential and prized possessions. Take a look below and decide if you could make the micro-move, too.

LondonHouse: Historic Chicago Hotel Restoration

A building that has sat empty for years is finally being transformed. What used to be the London Guarantee and Accident Company building and a world famous jazz club, is now being restored into LondonHouse Chicago Hotel. I already know it's going to be wildly popular, one look at the rooftop cupola got me hearing wedding bells... It was exciting to take an extensive tour with the architect of the project and to hear his plans and vision for the hotel. It is clear to see that they are taking great care to keep the original structures integrity. Stay tuned for an update in the coming months as the hotel nears its completion!

House Call: Uptown Chicago Condo

It's not often you get to walk into a strangers home and photograph their space. But now that Curbed Chicago has started a new series on the blog featuring their readers homes in Chicago, I have had the chance to meet some great new people and take a tour of their homes. Last week I traveled to Uptown and met Jarod, the homeowner of this great condo. He shared stories of his travels and how he came about collecting so many prints and pieces of art. And of course I have to give many thanks to my personal tour guide (the dog) who did a great job showcasing her favorite places to lounge.


If you enojoyed this real-life home tour, take a look at the rest the shoots I have done for Curbed Chicago's House Calls over on their site!

The Virgin Hotel Chicago: British Hotel Style Comes To The New World

From cell phones to airlines, Virgin has taken the market by storm. Sir Richard Branson's next move starts right here in Chicago with the opening of the first Virgin Hotel. In the heart of The Loop, Virgin has transformed the ornate Dearborn Bank building into a mecca for today's business travelers. With lots of amenities, including a rooftop bar and a full restaurant, they promise a truly customizable experience for their guests. With Virgin Hotel Nashville and Virgin Hotel New York in the works, it will be really exciting to see how Chicago grows as the basis for this new brand.

Catalyst: West Loop Luxury Apartments

Catalyst; a person or thing that precipitates an event. While Marquette Companies' new development in the West Loop may not have precipitated the West Loop boom, it is most definitely entering the luxury apartment market at the right time. The 19-story tower designed by Brininstool + Lynch sports 223 units, and stands out in my mind for its clean furnishings and consistent design concept. I had a chance to take a tour last week and make some images for Curbed Chicago, be sure to check out their great coverage!


73 East: High Rise Apartments In The Heart Of The Loop

Walking into the lobby at 73 East really sets the tone for the rest of this 42-story apartment tower in the heart of the loop. Its colorful and modern look is a thread that connects the building common spaces and amenities to the actual rental units themselves. I was lucky enough to tag along on a private tour of the building for Curbed Chicago, guided by RMK Properties President Tony Rossi Sr. It was a whirlwind tour on a VERY misty and cloudy August day, but as always a really great experience.


Soho House Chicago: Fulton Market Hot Spot

London, New York, Berlin, Toronto, Miami, Hollywood, and now Chicago. Soho House, a private member's club for those in the film, media, and creative industries, has just opened the doors to its newest "house" in Chicago's Fulton Market neighborhood. I photographed the site for Curbed Chicago back in March when there was still scaffolding on the facade and plenty of snow on the ground, so spending some time documenting the nearly completed space on a sunny August day was a treat. Check out the full article here!


As to be expected, especially at the $2,000 price point for membership, the design and furnishings inside the Allis Building (formerly a factory building producing rubber belts) were gorgeous. My favorite part about the space though was the subtle use of the wood behind the front desk and around the elevator bay. The wood came from the water tower that used to sit on top of the building, and if you look closely you can still see some of the original lettering!

The lobby/lounge space, although a bit narrow, was soaked in beautiful bright light. I could definitely see it as a nice place to do some work and have a cup of coffee, cocktail, or small bite to eat. This space, as well as the Soho House's two restaurants Chicken Shop and Pizza East, are all open to the public.


The Soho House will be adding 40 hotel rooms to the West Loop marketplace. The rooms, available in three sizes (small, medium, and medium-plus) are available to the public starting at $240 a night. The space pictured below is a medium-plus, and felt quite spacious. The furnishings were nice and very consistent with the style of the lobby/lounge.


OneEleven: Downtown Chicago Luxury Highrise Apartments


Ever since James Thompson first surveyed the city in 1830, Chicago has been known for its grid system of planning. This system has many benefits, one of being that one can quite quickly pinpoint the location of a building just by hearing the address number. So when I got the call from Curbed Chicago to check out 111 Wacker, I knew we were going to be dealing with a unique type of apartment building. Check out the entire article and tour here!


The 60 story tower on the bank of the Chicago River has long been in the works, but since 2011 developer Related Midwest has been at the helm. The sleek LEED Silver tower by Handel Architects, coupled with stunning interiors designed by Kara Mann make OneEleven a truly fresh offering to the Chicago luxury rental market.


One of the most exciting parts about shooting opening tours for Curbed Chicago is the speed at which we move through the building. For the most part we will spend no more than 5 minutes in a particular room or space, so quickly visualizing images becomes very important. Its a great exercise that sharpens me visually. This specific shoot, for instance, lasted just over an hour. We viewed all of the common spaces and amenities, as well as 6 different model units! The final article was a monster photo post running with 96 images! Despite how mentally exhausting it can be, I get so much gratification out of working in an environment such as this.


Trunk Club Chicago HQ Tour

I'm sure many of you (or at least the guys) have seen Trunk Club's stylish clothing advertisements make their way onto your Facebook news feed. There may even be a few of you out there who are actual customers. I've got to admit, up until this week when I got a chance to tour and photograph Trunk Club's River North headquarters for Curbed Chicago, I didn't know much about the operation than what I'd gleaned from their ads.


Despite the sheer square footage of the place (45k sq ft), the second you walk into the lobby from the elevator you can feel the hustle and bustle of stylists, tailors, clients, and countless other people. The day of the tour was beautifully sunny and mild (at 20 degrees that's relatively speaking) which allowed the interior's abundance of light brick and rich wood floors and ceilings to give off a nearly palpable warmth. The space, designed by Chicago native Kara Mann, does a spectacular job of creating a trendy high-end feel with just the right amount of hominess. This is a space that, at least in my opinion, exemplifies the importance of details in pulling off a larger feeling or style.


Much like Trunk Club's mission statement, the space is designed to be very experience oriented. There are fitting rooms for each of their flagship brands that are tailored (pun intended) in their design to that particular brand. I found this to be a really effective approach because once you stepped into that particular brand's room you could immediately grasp the aesthetic/lifestyle they were going for, great for someone who may not know much about the many different brands out there.


If having your own personal stylist and tailor looking after all of your sartorial needs is not enough, they've also got a full service bar that you can belly up to and get a drink! All in all a very cool place. With their subscriber numbers growing at fever pitch, I'd wager that we'll be seeing much more of their signature brown trunk boxes in the future.