Our iconic building is commemorating 125 years, and we want you to celebrate with us.
In 1893, the World’s Columbian Exposition (also known as Chicago World’s Fair) commenced from May 1 to October 31 and the Chicago Athletic Association opened its doors. 125 years later, the Chicago Athletic Association hotel pays tribute to this historic period with a variety of offerings and programming events.
Did You Know?
The original Chicago Athletic Association members played a big role in facilitating the 1893 World’s Fair. Before Chicago landed the bid to host the 633 acres of modern wonders, some of the city’s most powerful men (many of whom were members of the CAA) like Daniel Burnham, Marshall Field, Charles T. Yerkes, Philip Armour, Gustavus Swift and Cyrus McCormick used their sway and, of course, deep pockets, to help the city win the fair. It took three years to plan and build the gigantic amusement park, which welcomed more than 27 million visitors. Henry Ives Cobb, the architect who designed the Chicago Athletic Association, based the exterior of the building on the Doge's Palace in Venice to ensure a big impact when viewed from the lakefront by visitors descending upon Chicago. Boats would pick up visitors at Michigan and Van Buren, about four blocks south of the Chicago Athletic Association, to whisk them down to the fairgrounds at Jackson Park. Chances are they would see the 250-foot Venetian Gothic tower grand façade of the private men’s club, so it had to be in tip-top shape.
That year, the club’s football team played a night game against West Point at the World’s Fair — one of the first-ever night games in history — and won 14-0. Nearly 125 years later, the converted and updated Chicago Athletic Association hotel continues its winning streak and impact on the city, paying tribute to this historic period with a variety of offerings and programming events to meld the new with the old and celebrate modern invention.
Celebrate 125 years with us!
Between May and October, visit the Chicago Athletic Association hotel to engage in revelations of the past and innovations of today through workshops, live discussions, culinary experiences, room offers and more, including:
May - October
125 Ways to Play Tote
Book a room and get a commemorative tote full of goodies including $125 worth of gift cards to our 7 outlets and online store, CAA keepsakes, a key to our White City (coming soon), and of course, a list of 125 ways to experience the Chicago Athletic Association hotel, Almanac Experiencia.
Purchase just the goods
Foxy Ed’s 1893 Saloon:
Kicking off the festivities is the latest installment of the Mini-Bar Series where the “Mid” meets “West” at Foxy Ed’s.Paying homage to saloon culture and one infamous barkeep who colored Chicago’s past, Edward F. “Foxy Ed” Cullerton, The Chicago Athletic Association hotel invites locals and travelers to experience a sense of pre-prohibition Chicago set inside a saloon. Guests can enjoy whiskeys, beer, and mixed spirits, then join in on programming including jug jams, poker lessons, and anything but basic history lessons. In addition, step inside the saloon’s vintage photo studio designed by local Tintype artist, Jen Jansen, complete with 1890’s attire to capture the moment.
Model Making Workshop
This introductory, hands-on workshop affords attendees the chance to recreate an iconic structure from the White City.
Mini-Bar with Nightly Programming
The sixth installment in the hotel's Mini-Bar Series - a takeover of themed pop-up bars - is underway and set to open mid-July. While we can't tell you everything, this Mini-Bar will stay true to the format of those that came before: Free nightly programming, expertly crafted bar menu, and an irreplaceable experience open for one month only.
Vitchcraft Calligraphy Workshop
Vichcraft is the independent and collaborative, multi-disciplinary studio of Jenna Blazevich. Join Jenna and friends as she takes her immersive beginner’s calligraphy class to the Chicago Athletic Association hotel on Sunday, July 29th from 12-3 p.m.
Storytelling with Art Design Chicago
The hotel's ongoing partnership with Art Design Chicago continues with another co-hosted storytelling, highlighting the impact of the World's Fair on our city's art and design legacy.
Annual Halloween Party: Be a Devil in Our White City
Culminating all events and activations in honor of the 125th anniversary of the building and the 1893 Chicago World’s, daring guests and inquisitive locals are invited to tap into the wonder of a distant age on Saturday, October 27, 2018 for the Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s annual Halloween party. Guests can expect an evening of performances, attractions and concessions, and modern takes on exhibits from the World’s Columbian Exposition Midway Plaisance.
More information on events and tickets coming soon at chicagoathleticevents.com