New Place to Visit in Chicago
This year, the city will offer new hotels, exhibitions and Tony award–winning theater productions. Digs due to launch include the Hotel Palomar, a 261-room Kimpton property located in the River North area, scheduled to open in March. The Elysian, an ultra-luxury property on the Gold Coast, will feature residential-styled guestrooms that average 889 square feet, plus two restaurants, a bar and a health club and spa. This Leading Hotels of the World member will open in the second quarter of 2010. In June, a 609-room JW Marriott will open in the former Continental & Commercial National Bank building, designed by Daniel Burnham in 1914.
Meanwhile, the Art Institute of Chicago has opened its 264,000-square-foot Modern Wing, designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano. It houses the museum’s 20th-century European painting and sculpture collections, contemporary art, architecture and design, and photography on three floors of galleries. The $294 million project also included an outdoor sculpture terrace, a garden courtyard and a 620-foot-long pedestrian bridge linking the museum to the city’s Millennium Park.
The 2010 Broadway in Chicago (broadwayinchicago.com) season will showcase Billy Elliot, which begins March 18; Beauty and the Beast, March 23–April 4; The 39 Steps, May 19–30; and Shrek the Musical, July 13–Sept. 5. For green-thumbed locals and visitors, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show returns to Navy Pier March 6–14.