The Wit rises above the State & Lake El stationFrom The Wit Hotel architectural review by Chicago Tribune critic, Blair Kamin:
The Wit, a 27-story boutique hotel that opened Wednesday at the corner of State and Lake Streets, is a work of pre-crash architectural exuberance making its debut amid a post-crash depression. Only in the heady days before last year's stock-market meltdown would an architect have designed a hotel with the likeness of a yellow lightning bolt zigzagging across its facade. Now, a basic room goes for $199.
In a sense, though, there is something timeless -- or at least fitting -- about the Wit's design. Its raffish theatricality is in keeping with its surroundings, given that it stands across the elevated tracks from the blazing marquees and caramel popcorn smells of Chicago's theater district.
So what do we have here -- a sterling or a so-so performance?
The architecture of this eye-grabbing building is more interesting than good. But as a work of urban design, the hotel is very good, in large part because its architect, Jackie Koo, has embraced the grittiness of the "L" and State Street rather than turning her back on them.