The history of the Purple Hotel: Brick by brick

File Photo from October 9, 2006 of Lincolnwood's The Purple Hotel.
Lincolnwood Mayor Jerry Turry (left) and Village Administrator Tim Wiberg (right) stand in front of the Purple Hotel in 2007.  |  BUZZ ORR~Sun-Times Media

From a notorious location of political corruption to being the first Chicagoland roof over Michael Jordan's head, Lincolnwood residents are losing a relic in the soon to be demolished Purple Hotel.

Learn more in the below passages from media reports over the years.

1962: The Purple Hotel is born

"The hotel on the very prominent corner of Touhy and Kilbourn Avenues in Lincolnwoodused to be the town’s most famous building: The first Hyatt hotel in all of Chicagoland, premiere accommodations, top-notch restaurant. It was swank! Roberta Flack stayed there. Barry Manilow stayed there. Michael Jordan stayed there on his first night in Chicago. Every thirteen year old in the area had their bar mitzvah there," according to radio show 99% Invisible.

"Then, slowly, over time, it became Lincolnwood’s most infamous building. Changed hands, got seedy and run down."

[Read more at 99% Invisible]

1983: Teamsters consultant Allen Dorfman gunned down in Purple Hotel parking lot

"Allen Dorfman, a longtime mob associate who was murdered in 1983 in a Lincolnwood parking lot, virtually controlled all investments made by the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund for at least six years, according to testimony Thursday in U.S. District Court," the Chicago Tribune reported.

"Dorfman`s domination of the fund, which at the time had assets of almost $1 billion, reportedly ended in June, 1972, after his conviction on fraud charges."

[Read more at the Chicago Tribune]

1984: Michael Jordan stays at Purple Hotel on his first night in Chicago 

Limo driver George Koehler dropped Jordan off at "the famous purple Lincolnwood Hyatt House, not far from where the Bulls practiced at Angel Guardian Gym. Jordan gave him 50 dollars and told him to keep the change, and Koehler gave him his card," Koehler told ESPN.

"I told him, 'If you need to know of any places to live, restaurants to eat, you want to go out for a beer, you've got a friend in Chicago. And oh, by the way, congratulations on your gold medal,'" Koehler said.

Two weeks later, Koehler's phone rang.

[Read more at ESPN]

2007: Weiss redevelopment attempt

WBEZ reported "A North Shore developer seeks to preserve and redevelop Lincolnwood's Purple Hotel--provided he can stop the suburb from demolishing the 51-year-old edifice."

Jake Weiss, president of Skokie-based real estate investment firm Weiss Properties, told WBEZ "You've got this shell of a building there and it's doing absolutely nothing. It's a beautiful structure with an architectural pedigree. Why tear down a perfectly good building?"

[Read more at WBEZ]

2011: Erez Baver of North Capital Group purchase

"The hotel was known for seamy affairs in more recent years too. In the corruption trials of political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, and more recently powerbroker William Cellini, businessman and admitted scam artist Stuart Levine testified that he attended all-night sex parties loaded with drugs such as crystal meth and ketamine at the hotel," according to a CBS Chicago report.

[Read more at CBS Chicago]

May 2013: Purple Hotel set for demolition again

Lincolnwood’s iconic Purple Hotel appears to be dead.

Plans to use the hotel as part of a $20 million mixed-use development have been spiked, after the hotel owners announced Tuesday a decision to demolish the colorful building and start fresh with plans for a larger mixed-use development.

[Read more at the Lincolnwood Review]

July 2013: Lincolnwood village manager Tim Wiberg breaks down the Purple Hotel fate

Despite all the issues occurring in Lincolnwood, one question consistently keeps popping up: What is going on with The Purple Hotel site?

[Read more at the Lincolnwood Review]

August 15, 2013: Purple Hotel bricks sale raises over $5,000 for Lincolnwood Library

Bricks from the Purple Hotel were sold at Lincolnwood Fest, raising over $5,000 for the local library.

[Read more at the Lincolnwood Review]

August 27, 2013: Demolition set to begin on the Purple Hotel

North Capital Group, the company that owns the Purple Hotel, announced plans to demolish the hotel. As of August, future plans to develop the property are still in the works.

[Read more at the Lincolnwood Review]

Click here or email to submit any photos or stories about the Purple Hotel.



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