Chicago’s Robey hotel is a chic lodging option with great rooftop views in Wicker Park

The Robey Hotel kept the nearly century-old building’s original geometric marble floors. Photo11: Adrian Gaut

From the Journal Sentinel: For nearly all of its 90 years, the triangle-shaped Northwest Tower in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood was a multipurpose office building. The Art Deco structure was nicknamed the Coyote because its rooftop conical spire and flagpole resemble the upturned nose of a baying hound.

But three years ago, the 12-story structure became The Robey, a 69-room boutique hotel. The Robey also boasts 20 lofts in the neighboring Annex, a century-old former warehouse.

The Robey’s rooftop offers some of the best uninterrupted views of Chicago’s skyline looking southeast toward the Willis Tower. It’s also home to the Up Room lounge, a (seasonal) swimming pool and a cave-like grotto that is heated in the winter and is part of the building’s distinctive prow.

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Second Volare Pizza Location Now Open Inside Former Olmos Pharmacy

Facebook / Olmos Pharmacy

From the San Antonio Current: The good news is that the neon sign remains in place, signaling back to the history of the Olmos Pharmacy, which had done business since 1938.

Volare has opened their doors for business in the old soda fountain. It is the pizzeria’s second location, and owners Pilar De La Vega and Antonio Sorgente have expanded the menu to include a few seafood options.

The iconic building had not seen any business since late 2017, when it was slinging milkshakes, sodas and occasionally some live music.

The new tenant is another Italian concept for the area, which already has BarbaroPesto Ristarante and Tribeca 212 — not to suggest that there is ever too much pizza.

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The iconic lobby of the Palmer House Hotel is getting restored to its former glory


From Curbed: The Palmer House Hilton, one of Chicago’s most famous historic hotels, has embarked on a major restoration of its iconic French-inspired lobby. The work will focus on the room’s 21 ceiling murals from Art Deco painter Louis Pierre Rigal and its 1.25-ton, 24-karat gold winged candelabras designed by Tiffany & Co.

The restoration is led by husband and wife team Anthony and Mata Kartsonas of Historic Surfaces, whose past credits include work on the U.S. Capitol building, Clara and Henry Ford’s Fair Lane estate in Detroit, and Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre.

While the room was already a spectacle to behold, the restoration promises to make the Palmer House lobby all the more special. Rigal’s Grecian murals were last restored in 1995, according to a Chicago Tribune report published at the time. The current job is expected to take roughly one month to complete.

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A ‘save our building’ success story: People can’t imagine International Falls without the Backus Community Center

Emily Maki and Kylan Bjorkquist are characters in “Anne of Green Gables” performed on the Backus stage in March 2018.

From the Duluth News Tribune: It’s a dilemma for many small towns in northern Minnesota, where the town’s founding fathers built grand schools and public buildings out of brick and marble and steel: what do you do with those buildings once they are phased out?

Sometimes they are demolished. Sometimes they sit empty and gradually decay. But sometimes, the community takes another look, and decides to give them new life.

That’s just what the border city of International Falls has done with one — and soon, people hope, two — old school buildings in the center of town. Over the past 16 years, the Backus Community Center has gone from an empty art deco-style school with a bad roof to the busy, beating heart of the community, said executive director Ward Merrill.

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Teacher, students behind push to make neon Nevada’s official element

Neon signs light up the boneyard at the Neon Museum at dawn in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: CARSON CITY — Few things are as synonymous with Las Vegas and the Silver State as neon.

For nearly a century, the noble gas has helped light up some of the most iconic signs across Nevada — like the world-famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign on the Strip and the Reno Arch — and became a staple of the hotels, motels and casinos from Elko to Laughlin. There’s even an entire museum in downtown Las Vegas dedicated to Nevada’s iconic signage in the aptly named Neon Museum.

Now, a freshman lawmaker and a group of schoolchildren from Carson City hope to enshrine the gas in Nevada lore by making it an official state symbol.

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