Reliance Building
Reliance Building
4.5
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Lake • 3 min walk
  • Randolph/Wabash • 3 min walk
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles36 reviews
Excellent
23
Very good
12
Average
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Terrible
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Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,683 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Couples
As an architecture buff, I was wowed by this 1895 skyscraper gem when I visited on a Chicago Architecture Foundation tour. I initially thought that the building -- one of the stops in "Historic Treasures of Culture and Commerce" -- went up in the middle 1900s. That's because the structure has a more modern look due to its two-story-column design that helps support many large glass windows. The 14-story building also appears light and airy because of the white glazed terra cotta that contributes to the facade. But the almost sparkling beauty does not reflect careful maintenance for more than a century. Instead, it displays restoration work by a developer, who in 1999 transformed the former office building into the boutique Hotel Burnham (now The Alise Chicago).

We entered the hotel from Washington Street and continued to the long elevator lobby, which can be accessed directly from State Street. This lobby shows off a 20-foot-high ceiling, intricate mosaic floor tiles, Italian marble, a metal elevator grill and decorative wrought iron. Photos on the wall show what the building, which is a National Historic Landmark, looked like throughout the years.

The Reliance Building is near Millennium Park and the Chicago Art Institute and across the street from Macy's on State Street. That department store is also worth a stop for a look at its magnificent Tiffany glass dome.
Written 10 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane K
Venice, FL4,533 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2015 • Couples
We went on a Chicago Architecture Foundation tour of the Reliance Building. It was a 45 minute tour of both the interior and exterior of the building. It was originally built in 1890 - 1895 to be used as a doctor/dentist office building and was later converted to a hotel. It was interesting to tour a few of the upper floors and see the old office doors and windows. There is also a beautiful old open staircase that goes up the center of the building.
The first floor is open to the public - you can enter on either State Street or Washington. In the hallway by the State Street entrance you can see various old pictures of the building. That hallway is also very interesting to look at with the wrought iron by the elevators and the beautiful tile floor.
Written 18 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,421 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
I remember when the Prudential Building was the tallest building in Chicago. How times have changed. Of course, there was a time when the Reliance Building, was recognized as a "skyscraper," all 14 floors of it. Located at 1 West Washington Street, at State Street, in the center of what once was known as "That Great Street," the Reliance Building was designed by architect John Root in 1890 and completed by Charles Atwood in 1895. It was the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows make up the majority of its surface area, foreshadowing a design feature that would become commonplace in the 20th century. It remains significant for other reasons, including its white glazed terra cotta facade and steel frame superstructure. It also was one of the first skyscrapers to offer electricity and telephone service to all of its offices. The lobby is a showcase with its 20-foot-high ceiling, Italian marble, elegant mosaic floor tiles and an old-time metal elevator grill with decorative wrought iron. Today, the building boasts the popular Atwood Cafe on the first floor with a fashionable boutique hotel, the 122-room Staypineapple, formerly the Hotel Burnham, filling the rest of the space. The Reliance Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Visitors still marvel at the "proto-Modernist" structure, which reflects the growth of Chicago's central retail district. How could it have been built in 1895?
Written 31 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maisoui_27
Streamwood, IL136 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Solo
I went on the 45 minute Chicago Architecture Tour of this building; now a hotel. A very important 1895 historic building in Chicago that has been beautifully restored. Clad in glass and terra cotta it was the first skyscraper to have large plate glass windows. The elevator shaft, mosaic tile floor, narrow staircase with worn marble treads, old wooden doors to the rooms with letter slots, and more. All of these things make this a unique building to stay in Chicago. We were lucky to be able to go inside a room on the tour and I was impressed by the beauty and quality of the rooms. I would stay here given the opportunity.
Written 20 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rushh2017
Lockport, LA112 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Solo
A must see on any Chicago architecture tour. I just love the cream color of the exterior and the attention to all the small details. The building is in a very prominent area known for quality mid range shopping.
Written 15 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bill L
Plainfield, Illinois, USA102 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Couples
Love the kimpton line hotels... they Care. They do, the Burnham is all about romance. Leave the kids at home. Right at the edge of the Theater district, its right in the heart of the loop. Easy to to many places, or a quick cab ridge. All the employees are great... weve' been here about a half dozen times.... Free Wine Hour... and like the Burnham Chain on Facebook to get the Monthly Secret word... gets you cool stuff. I really Like the Restaurant for Breakfasts... Awesome... Pricey, but fantastic. I see many people here for dinner too, but we usually like a more quirky atmosphere. Hotel Burnham is as jewel of the city. Keep it up, and we will be back.. Joint the kimpton rewards club, and there is a fair amount of sales, so you can get a deal with some planning....
Written 20 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sand0615
Houston, TX36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Couples
I cannot say enough good things about the Hotel Burnham.

Here are some highlights:
1. Gorgeous interiors in the public areas
2. Incredibly comfortable beds
3. The staff was incredibly helpful!
4. The wine hour was a nice perk!!!
5. Great location -- close to Millennium Park and many bus/metro lines. Also, there is a Target and Walgreens across the street for things forgotten at home.

Overall, it was a luxurious stay for a reasonable price. It was the little touches, such as the infused water in the lobby, that really made the stay!

The only complaint was the business center. It was a tad overpriced to use the internet, and there was no chair. It was really only a cubby where you had to in front of a computer.

We would still stay there again in a heartbeat!
Written 16 October 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mcrmel
UK15 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The Burnham Hotel is cool! It has bags of quirky charm and the architecture of the building has been lovingly retained. The staff are friendly and welcoming and the check in process was effortless. If you're into the paintings of Edward Hopper, you'll feel right at home here and it's perfectly located for Chicago's sites. There's even wine tastings in the lobby area most evenings. We had brunch at the Atwood Cafe which is a great spot to mix with Chicago's wellheeled ladies who lunch! What you don't get in this hotel are all kinds of bathroom accessories, a huge bedroom or the feeling you're in a soulless hotel chain. If you want to stay somewhere with character, then stay here. We love it, it's our 6th visit!
Written 20 June 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Guide4716
kansas city1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
what an awesome romantic lovely place to have dinner period. The ambience is wonderful.
Written 21 January 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Feenixwest
Fort Collins, CO1,440 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Friends
Saw this on a historic walking tour of Chicago. It was a first skyscraper to have as much window-space as this--70% which was very scary when this was built. Now an attractive building on a corner on State Street with dark stone on the lower two levels and light on the top. Can see some of the supporting pillars tucked behind window edges.
Written 6 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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RELIANCE BUILDING (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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