Thursday, April 16, 2020

An Update & History On Upcoming Wilson Club

Looking west on Wilson towards Clifton, with current Wilson Club on the right

An update from Clint Sabin, City Pads spokesperson:

"Work continues to progress as planned for the future Wilson Club (1124 W. Wilson).

As we indicated in our last update, we are abiding by all the new guidelines issued by the federal, state, and city government, including providing our employees with personal protection equipment, and demanding that employees practice social distancing.

Later this week and next the fire escape on the western-facing wall will be removed, and the dumpster will be relocated to the southwestern corner of the building, where it will remain for the foreseeable future.

As promised in my last e-mail, I also wanted to provide information about the history of this structure:

Completed in 1914 as a commercial building with ground-floor retail and offices and a Masonic hall on the upper floors, the building was designed by noted Chicago architect Lawrence Gustav Hallberg (1844-1915).  Hallberg was originally from Sweden and was practicing in London when he learned of Chicago’s Great Fire and relocated to Chicago to participate in the City’s rebuilding.

Other notable buildings he designed include 1254 N. Lake Shore Dr., and 3314 N. Lake Shore Drive.  Hallberg died in 1915 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery.  His son, Lawrence Gustav Hallberg, Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps and took over the firm upon his death.

In 1930, perhaps reflecting changes in the social fabric in the midst of the Great Depression, the building was converted to the Wilson Club Hotel which provided low-cost “cubical” accommodations at a daily rate of 75 cents, and a weekly rate of $4.50.

After many years of neglect, City Pads acquired the building in 2017, and is looking forward to restoring this building with opening planned for spring 2021."

UU Note: The fire escape on the Clifton side of the building has been removed as of this afternoon!

Wilson Club, minus the fire escape

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