Combining sophisticated design with state-of-the-art facilities, the massively expanded Midtown Athletic Club is reborn as the ultimate destination for the city’s fitness-obsessed set.
Led by DMAC Architecture’s Dwayne MacEwen, Midtown’s reinvention makes it a major destination for locals and travelers alike.
For decades, Midtown Athletic Club (simply “Midtown” to locals) has been the place for tennis in Chicago, from the premier training spot for up-and-coming young stars to a second home for local afficionados of the sport. Now, with a massive, just-completed expansion project, Midtown is aiming to draw a whole new audience as a 575,000-square-foot luxury hotel and fitness and lifestyle center unlike any other in the city, complete with a tennis lounge and a private suite by Grand Slam champ Venus Williams’ V Starr Interiors. “The fact that we’re 94 percent amenities and 6 percent hotel makes it denitely a unique experience,” says DMAC Architecture founder and principal Dwayne MacEwen, who led the mammoth project. And indeed, the place has amenities for days, including, of course, 15 tennis courts; floors dedicated to the mind and body; state-of-the-art fitness studios; and four pools, including two infinity pools and an outdoor oasis that will become an ice rink in the winter, not to mention more than 550 free parking spaces in the adjacent garage. “You come to the hotel and you’re really a member for the night,” says MacEwen. “You get to use the entire club. It’s almost like a mini-resort.” And given the sheer amount of space, MacEwen’s greatest accomplishment might be in making such a massive space feel intimate and engaging. “We really tried to capture the spirit of Chicago, which is this wonderful collection of neighborhoods that you migrate through and have different experiences along the way. The place has a personality.” 2444 N. Elston Ave., 773.235.2300, midtown.com/chicago