New Life Comes With New Name for Purple Hotel

Midwest
Thursday, August 23, 2012
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Lincolnwood's Purple Hotel, celebrated in a mid-century postcard. (Courtesy Koo & Associates)

Lincolnwood’s Purple Hotel, celebrated in a mid-century postcard. (Courtesy Koo & Associates)

A rose by any other name may still smell as sweet, but what about a violet? Suburban Chicago’s Purple Hotel, rescued this Spring from dereliction and impending demolition, may change its name to complement its transformation under architects Koo and Associates. The firm solicited name suggestions via Facebook, looking for “something mid-century and fresh.” One early commenter declared, “Renaming the Purple Hotel will go over about as well as renaming the Sears Tower.”

Koo & Associates' plan for revamping the old Purple Hotel. (Courtesy Koo & Associates)

Koo & Associates’ plan for revamping the old Purple Hotel. (Courtesy Koo & Associates)

He may be right in so far as the new name likely won’t persuade the many locals with ties to the hotel’s colorful history. It was a veritable magnet for bar mitzvahs, it seems, before it attracted less wholesome convention crowds to buoy revenue in its later years.

AN reported in June on new plans for the iconic Lincolnwood hotel, which principal Jackie Koo said would include varying degrees of historic preservation and inventive repurposing of the 1961 structure’s titular purple glazed brick.

We welcome the change—a fresh start deserves a new name. But judging by the leading suggestions at the moment, the public has not grown jaded with the building’s most visually-striking element over time. Among the more popular at press time? The UltraViolet and The Concord.

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