|Front section, Ladies' Cafe, Hotel Kaiserhof|
Location: Hotel originally located at 320-328 South Clark Street (1889-1915), later at 314-318 Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA (1915-1971)
According to the book Early Chicago Hotels (2006), the original Hotel Kaiserhof was by an unknown architect, and was built of "rusticated stone." Architecturally speaking, authors William R. Host and Brooke Ahne Portmann found the building something of a mixed success:
The sense of movement and rhythm from bottom to top indicates an awareness of the importance of creating a unified whole. Still, the awkward stacking of the top three floors indicates this architect had not yet solved the problem of the tall building.
Regarding the design of the Ladies Dining Room (or Ladies Cafe), Host and Portmann observe the following:
In the 1911 postcard below, we can see the contrast between the men's space ("the handcarved settee in the gentlemen's cafe") and the women's space ("the ladies dining room"). Certainly the "gentlemen's cafe" boasts more heft compared to its "feminine" counterpart. No doubt many "weighty" decision were made here (or intended to be made here) regarding economics and politics--not to mention the other less weighty topics at a gentleman's disposal.
|Hotel Kaiserhof - Ladies Dining Room and Gentlemen's Cafe|