Reliance Building

Reliance Building, Chicago: Address, Phone Number, Reliance Building Reviews: 4.5/5

Reliance Building
4.5
Architectural Buildings
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What people are saying
One of the first of the great "skyscrapers"
Oct 2020
I remember when the Prudential Building was the tallest building in Chicago. How times have changed. Of course, there was a time when the Reliance Building, was recognized as a "skyscraper," all 14 floors of it. Located at 1 West Washington Street, at State Street, in the center of what once was known as "That Great Street," the Reliance Building was designed by architect John Root in 1890 and completed by Charles Atwood in 1895. It was the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up the majority of its surface area, foreshadowing a design feature that would become commonplace in the 20th century. It remains significant for other reasons, including its white glazed terra cotta facade and steel frame superstructure. It also was one of the first skyscrapers to offer electricity and telephone service to all of its offices. The lobby is a showcase with its 20-foot-high ceiling, Italian marble, elegant mosaic floor tiles and an old-time metal elevator grill with decorative wrought iron. Today, the building boasts the popular Atwood Cafe on the first floor with a fashionable boutique hotel, the 122-room Staypineapple, formerly the Hotel Burnham, filling the rest of the space. The Reliance Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Visitors still marvel at the "proto-Modernist" structure, which reflects the growth of Chicago's central retail district. How could it have been built in 1895?

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The area
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Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Lake • 3 min walk
  • Randolph/Wabash • 3 min walk

4.5
34 reviews
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Taylor B
Chicago, IL7,542 contributions
Oct 2020
I remember when the Prudential Building was the tallest building in Chicago. How times have changed. Of course, there was a time when the Reliance Building, was recognized as a "skyscraper," all 14 floors of it. Located at 1 West Washington Street, at State Street, in the center of what once was known as "That Great Street," the Reliance Building was designed by architect John Root in 1890 and completed by Charles Atwood in 1895. It was the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up the majority of its surface area, foreshadowing a design feature that would become commonplace in the 20th century. It remains significant for other reasons, including its white glazed terra cotta facade and steel frame superstructure. It also was one of the first skyscrapers to offer electricity and telephone service to all of its offices. The lobby is a showcase with its 20-foot-high ceiling, Italian marble, elegant mosaic floor tiles and an old-time metal elevator grill with decorative wrought iron. Today, the building boasts the popular Atwood Cafe on the first floor with a fashionable boutique hotel, the 122-room Staypineapple, formerly the Hotel Burnham, filling the rest of the space. The Reliance Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Visitors still marvel at the "proto-Modernist" structure, which reflects the growth of Chicago's central retail district. How could it have been built in 1895?
Written 31 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,100 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
As an architecture buff, I was wowed by this 1895 skyscraper gem when I visited on a Chicago Architecture Foundation tour. I initially thought that the building -- one of the stops in "Historic Treasures of Culture and Commerce" -- went up in the middle 1900s. That's because the structure has a more modern look due to its two-story-column design that helps support many large glass windows. The 14-story building also appears light and airy because of the white glazed terra cotta that contributes to the facade. But the almost sparkling beauty does not reflect careful maintenance for more than a century. Instead, it displays restoration work by a developer, who in 1999 transformed the former office building into the boutique Hotel Burnham (now The Alise Chicago).

We entered the hotel from Washington Street and continued to the long elevator lobby, which can be accessed directly from State Street. This lobby shows off a 20-foot-high ceiling, intricate mosaic floor tiles, Italian marble, a metal elevator grill and decorative wrought iron. Photos on the wall show what the building, which is a National Historic Landmark, looked like throughout the years.

The Reliance Building is near Millennium Park and the Chicago Art Institute and across the street from Macy's on State Street. That department store is also worth a stop for a look at its magnificent Tiffany glass dome.
Written 10 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Feenixwest
Fort Collins, CO1,477 contributions
Sep 2017 • Friends
Saw this on a historic walking tour of Chicago. It was a first skyscraper to have as much window-space as this--70% which was very scary when this was built. Now an attractive building on a corner on State Street with dark stone on the lower two levels and light on the top. Can see some of the supporting pillars tucked behind window edges.
Written 6 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

maisoui_27
Streamwood, IL137 contributions
Jul 2017 • Solo
I went on the 45 minute Chicago Architecture Tour of this building; now a hotel. A very important 1895 historic building in Chicago that has been beautifully restored. Clad in glass and terra cotta it was the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows. The elevator shaft, mosaic tile floor, narrow staircase with worn marble treads, old wooden doors to the rooms with letter slots, and more. All of these things make this a unique building to stay in Chicago. We were lucky to be able to go inside a room on the tour and I was impressed by the beauty and quality of the rooms. I would stay here given the opportunity.
Written 20 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rushh2017
Lockport, LA103 contributions
Jul 2017 • Solo
A must see on any Chicago architecture tour. I just love the cream color of the exterior and the attention to all the small details. The building is in a very prominent area known for quality mid range shopping.
Written 15 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

julie b
4 contributions
Dec 2016 • Friends
The architecture alone is worth the stay. Comfortable bed, clean bathroom, restaurant on site, and beautiful views. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to be in Chicago near the magnificent mile.
Written 21 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sharon K L
Green Cove Springs, FL35 contributions
Aug 2016 • Couples
We really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Burnham. The hotel is a historic, small boutique hotel that provides excellent service. The staff was great– friendly and helpful, the room was very nice with large, tall windows and the location was excellent. Great amenities including bicycles and a very nice restaurant. We plan to return when we next visit Chicago.
Written 13 August 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elizabeth F
North Carolina Mountains, NC66 contributions
Jun 2016 • Family
We stayed here for a night to say that we had. Read Devil In the White City and gain a whole new appreciation for the city's architecture. This is a swanky hotel as far as I'm concerned. Attentive front desk, beautiful building. Beds were comfy. Bathroom amenities smell nice. Great view for people/city watching, great location to walk to most places downtown. Fall asleep to sounds of the city, but not in a way that prevents you from falling asleep. My daughter loved the robes you get to wear. :)
Written 28 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bron P
Chicago, IL2 contributions
May 2015
The bartender on the 7th of July was very cold and unfriendly and looked like he just wanted to get out of there.

The layout of the 2 bedroom unit was great and very spacious. Would be good to have more seating in lounge, not enough for 4 people. Good facilites including laundry

The bartender on the 7th of July was very cold and unfriendly and looked like he just wanted to get out of there.

The layout was great and very spacious. Would be good to have more seating in lounge, not enough for 4 people. Good facilites including laundry
Written 20 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Diane K
Venice, FL3,692 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
We went on a Chicago Architecture Foundation tour of the Reliance Building. It was a 45 minute tour of both the interior and exterior of the building. It was originally built in 1890 - 1895 to be used as a doctor/dentist office building and was later converted to a hotel. It was interesting to tour a few of the upper floors and see the old office doors and windows. There is also a beautiful old open staircase that goes up the center of the building.
The first floor is open to the public - you can enter on either State Street or Washington. In the hallway by the State Street entrance you can see various old pictures of the building. That hallway is also very interesting to look at with the wrought iron by the elevators and the beautiful tile floor.
Written 18 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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