With inspiration drawn from the hotel’s namesake, famed sculptress Gwen Lux, The Gwen is rooted in an approachable elegance that invites visitors and locals alike to enjoy an elevated experience akin to the period of glamourous travel to Chicago in the 1930s.
The landmark McGraw-Hill building was built in 1928, and rebuilt in 2000, however the original Art Deco façade remains today. Chicago born sculptress Gwen Lux designed the bas-relief sculptures depicting the zodiac, which remain a focal point of the building’s exterior design. Art aficionados can enjoy an up-close look at the historically landmarked panels as four of them are currently installed on the first floor of The Shops at North Bridge, just steps from The Gwen. To this day, the McGraw-Hill building is arguably one of the city’s most notable collaborations between sculpture and architecture.
Born in 1908 and one of the few women in her field at the time, Gwen Lux was a visionary who went on to create innovative pieces, including commissions for Radio City Music Hall in New York, General Motors Technical Center in Detroit, and the first-class dining room of the SS United States.
Today, The Gwen’s newly adorned interior draws inspiration from 1930s Chicago. Conceptualized and designed by award-winning Simeone Deary Design Group. A welcoming atmosphere with glamourous touches seamlessly weaves together the interior with architecture and design to create a space rooted in history and refreshed luxury.
The Gwen’s newly opened fifth floor lobby features an Art Deco-inspired design with contemporary touches. Designed to encourage interaction throughout, the layout of the lobby creates meaningful transitions between spaces, including the hotel’s centrally located front desk, the restaurant and bar at Circa, and Upstairs at The Gwen’s terrace space. Showcasing rich fabrics, sleek seating, imaginative lighting, and a curated art and sculpture program, the lobby offers a sophisticated retreat for guests to relax or enjoy service from Circa Restaurant and Lounge.
Circa offers an upscale, and inviting restaurant and lounge with Executive Chef Oscar Hernandez’s fun and innovative approach to American cuisine with an eclectic twist. The rich cocktail culture of the 1930s is celebrated with a finely curated house cocktail list and hand-picked wines. Inspired by the symmetry of book bindings that McGraw-Hill once printed in the building, Circa offers a generous and spacious layout for large groups, couples, or the individual traveler.
UPSTAIRS AT THE GWEN
With engaging fire features and cityscape views, Upstairs at The Gwen offers a respite from a day of shopping on Michigan Avenue or The Shops at North Bridge, as well as a lively gathering place to enjoy Chicago’s summer evenings. Guests at Upstairs at The Gwen will enjoy the same craft cocktail menu as well as snacks and small plates from Circa, along with its signature Social Sips selections including frozen prosecco “Poptails,” Prohibition Punch for up to six, and a Bubble Bucket filled with splits to share.
For more information or to be one of the first to experience The Gwen, visit www.TheGwenChicago.com or call 312.645.1500.