HARRISON HOTEL - 65 WEST HARRISON STREET, CHICAGO, IL (1940's ERA POSTCARD & 2012 PHOTOGRAPHS)

HARRISON HOTEL 65 WEST HARRISON, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (APPROX. 1940's ERA)



The Harrison Hotel was completed in 1930, and it was designed by Alfred S. Alschuler (28 East Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Illinois.) Mr. Alschuler created a 12 story building, which rose to a height of 142.17 feet above ground level.

The hotel address is located at 65 West Harrison Street, which is at the corner of Wabash Avenue & Harrison Street. The hotel advertising of the 1940's tried to point out that the hotel was "just off of" Michigan Avenue. The address is one block from Michigan Avenue.

The Harrison Hotel was designed to have 400 fireproof rooms. All of the hotels of that era advertised that the rooms were fireproof. It made the potential burn victims feel safer. The rooms were as fireproof as the Titantic was incapable of sinking.

During the 40's, the hotel also advertised that every room had a FREE radio. That radio was a big thing in the 1940's, it brought the world into your room. Each hotel room also had circulating ice water, and a bathtub, or a shower in every room.

Next door to the hotel is an electric garage,which will raise or lower the vehicle via an electric elevator. It is currently the tallest garage in Chicago, and I believe it might be the tallest in the world. The red brick building was also designed by Alfred Alschuler. It was designed to be utilitarian, with only a few architecturally beautiful decorative touches. The few decorative touches on the building seem to be "pasted" (figuratively speaking) on the exterior of the garage, in an iffy attempt to blend in with the Art Decco / Art Moderne hotel.
 
RED BRICK BUILDING IS THE PARKING GARAGE - YELLOW BRICK IS THE HOTEL




The garage is 294.93 feet tall, and is 21 stories tall. When I see this car elevator garage, I THINK OF MITT ROMNEY'S ELECTRIC GARAGE. Unlike Mitt's garage, this garage is capable of holding 500 cars.

Also in 1930, another famous Chicago architect opened a competing Chicago multi-story garage, which was even taller than the Harrison Hotel garage. Walter W. Ahlschlager was the architect for the Quincy Street garage.

Little boys constantly have to have the BIGGEST.

The Quincy Street Garage was 280 feet tall, and had 25 floors. The garage had room for 828 cars. The garage was demolished in 1961 to make room for the Dirksen Federal Building. After the demolition of the Quincy street garage, the Harrison Hotel garage took the title of CHICAGO'S TALLEST PARKING GARAGE. Wow, what an honor!!!

In 1931, Mr Ahlaschlager opened an even taller elevator garage in Cincinnatti. That garage was 342 feet tall, and had 27 floors above the ground, along with two floors below ground. The garage was capable of holding 750 cars. After many years of being underused, it was finally demolished in the late 1980's.

During the 1940's - 1950's, the 21 story Harrison Hotel garage had an electric sign that advertised FREE PARKING. The sign could be seen overlooking the Congress Hotel, which is located on the much higher class Michigan Avenue. Michigan Avenue is 1 block away from the Harrison hotel complex. Today, the sign advertises the current name of the hotel - Harrison Travelodge.



HARRISON HOTEL ELECTRIC SIGN, SEEN FROM MICHIGAN AVENUE (1 BLOCK AWAY)




Alfred Alschuler was a student of famed architect Dankmar Adler, who was also was the business partner of the infamous architect Louis Sullivan. Adler was responsible for most of the exterior design work of the Auditorium Hotel / theatre complex, which is only a few blocks away from the far less fancy Harrison Hotel, that Mr. Alschuler designed.


FRONT ENTRANCE WITH THE BLAH UTILITARIAN ARCHITECTURAL DECORATIONS



WEST SIDE OF THE HOTEL - WITH "PASTED" ON ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS



HARRISON HOTEL NORTH ROOF LINE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS



ORIGINAL HARRISON HOTEL LUGGAGE TAG





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NORMAN BATES RATING (1942 VISIT): 1 BLOODY KNIFE

               
TOO MUCH COMPETITION FROM THE OTHER GUESTS - SCREAMS FROM EVERY ROOM.


 


TV TOY MEMORIES




 

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