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Graduate Evanston Hotel

Evanston, IL

Nestled near the Northwestern University campus along the Lake Michigan shore, Graduate Evanston hotel has a timeless charm that reflects the culture and history of the college town. As Architect of Record, DMAC teamed with AJ Capital Partners for an extensive renovation of the 119-key hotel—formerly known as The Homestead. With interior design direction led by Graduate Hotels’ in-house design team, the hotel combines the cozy repose of vintage décor with all the comforts of a modern hotel. The building, which opened in 1927 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, presented a unique opportunity for DMAC to work with Graduate Hotels to bring new life to the property.

Restoring a historic building is always a challenge! This particular property had seen many years of ad-hoc renovations, so our goal as the architect of record was to respect its original grandeur. While the exterior remained untouched, the interior required a number of necessary upgrades to modernize and bring the building up to code. DMAC worked with the Graduate’s in-house design team to maintain the important design elements in the building while still serving the hotel guests with updated lighting, temperature control and other conveniences that contemporary hotels offer. Most floor layouts were revised to convert former apartment kitchens into large guestrooms, and upgrade other guestrooms to be ADA accessible.  Because most of the electrical and plumbing were concealed, there were many unknowns and surprises along the way. The difficult decisions come down to how to maintain the character of the building while still providing modern systems and comforts.

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