Ritz-Carlton Residences

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118 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL

Ritz-Carlton Residences

The Ritz-Carlton Residences on Magnificent Mile in Chicago
Building Information
Developer Prism Development Group
Architect Lucien Lagrange
Management Company Ritz Carlton Hotel Company LLC
Number of Units 89
Number of Floors 40
Year Built 2012
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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118 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL
Distance to Public Transit 40 nearby routes
Region Chicago
Municipality Chicago
Zoning DX - 16
Title of Land Condominium



The Farwell Building prior to restoration

Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile was developed during the 1920s as a part of the Plan of Chicago by Daniel Burnham. The plans for this project were begun in 1906 and finally published in 1909, but it would take many years before these plans came fully into fruition. The plans would affect nearly every aspect of the city of Chicago. The creation of Magnificent Mile to be the replacement of Pine Street as a commercial district led to numerous buildings of various styles being built along this stretch of Michigan Avenue, including the Farwell Building at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and East Erie Street.

Built in 1927 by businessman Arthur Farwell, this 11 story building was designed by architect Philip Maher to provide a standard of Art Deco along the still in development Magnificent Mile. At the time, Art Deco was the fashionable architectural style of the day. Maher’s goal was to invoke the romanticism of 1920s Paris in the buildings that would eventually line this road. It would appear that Maher succeeded in this goal, as the Farwell building stood its ground for over 80 years, often being dwarfed by the size of the buildings being constructed around it. In 2004, the Farwell Building was land-marked and one would assume that preservationists were happy in the knowledge that the building was protected.

However, in the late 2000s, Prism Development Group decided to develop a luxury condominium residence, the Ritz Carlton Residences, on the site after Farwell’s neighbor, the Terra Museum of Art, closed its doors on October 31st, 2004. To secure approval for this deal, Prism agreed to preserve the building’s exterior facade, but in doing so, attaching it to an entirely new frame. This plan was dubbed “architectural taxidermy”. It generated much controversy among real estate watchers and preservationists.

Nevertheless, the plan and construction went ahead and the project was completed in 2012. The finished work drew mixed reviews from critics and commentators, and sales at this luxury condominium have been slow, further fallout from the recession and sagging condo market in Chicago.[1]


Found at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and East Erie Street, the Ritz-Carlton Residences find themselves in the heart of Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, the most well known stretch of Michigan Avenue. Lined with high end retail stores, land-marked buildings, skyscrapers, and luxury hotels, Magnificent Mile is one of the premiere destinations in Chicago.

Shoppers will find Magnificent Mile a retail paradise, as world renowned brands and retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurent, Kenneth Cole, and Armani all can be found in this location. In fact, Magnificent Mile has been compared to New York’s Fifth Avenue and Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive in terms of retail prestige.

But Magnificent Mile has so much more to offer, as several of the world’s tallest buildings can be found here, such as the Trump International Hotel & Tower and the John Hancock Center. Tourists will find several Chicago landmarks along this avenue, including the Drake Hotel, the Palmolive Building, the Allerton Hotel and the Tribune Tower.[2]

While the Magificent Mile may see high levels of tourists, there is much on offer for residents of the Ritz-Carlton, as they are within walking distance to an abundance of food, retail, and service options. Should they wish to escape the crowds, there are over 40 nearby transit routes nearby, and several excellent bike lanes.[3]


The Ritz-Carlton Residences under construction
The Ritz-Carlton Residences and the Farwell Building attached together after the restoration was complete

In 2004, the Terra Museum of Art closed its doors, and many of the pieces in their collection went to the Art Institute of Chicago. With a piece of prime real estate suddenly available on Magnificent Mile, Prism Development Group came forward with a $240 million plan to turn the space into a luxury condominium building.

Financing was secured, and construction began in 2010, with the main tower topping off in 2011. Lucien Lagrange was brought in as the architect to provide the design for the building, with Darcy Bonner & Associates providing the interior designs, Mick de Giulio providing the kitchen designs, and Prudential Rubloff Properties handling the sales. Construction was completed in 2012. [4]

A key factor in the construction of this project was the preservation of the neighboring Farwell Building. Its limestone exterior was stripped away, the steel frame of the building was demolished, and then replaced with a new concrete one. The exterior facade was then fully restored and assembled on the new frame piece by piece, effectively rebuilding, and yet at the same time, preserving a historical Chicago landmark.

Indeed, this architectural taxidermy was overseen by architects from the Commission on Chicago Landmarks in order to ensure that the Farwell Building was restored up to standard. While this plan was very controversial when announced, the end result was well received, with some even suggesting that the new Farwell Building outshone its project partner, the 40 story tower housing the Ritz Carlton Residences.[5]

Layout and Features

The Ritz-Carlton Residences are held within a 40 story building containing 89 luxury apartments. These apartments range in size from one bedroom units of around 1,400 square feet, to penthouses suites covering over 6,500 square feet. These apartments have many luxury features and finishes, including:

  • Balconies and/or terraces
  • Ceiling reaching up to 12 feet
  • Margaritelli hardwood floors by Listone Giordano
  • Individually controlled heating and cooling systems
  • 8 foot panel doors
  • Millwork archways and custom millwork throughout
  • Step ceilings that have been custom designed
  • 6 inch baseboards
  • Smart home pre-wiring technology

The kitchens in this building are by Mick de Giulio, and come with the following features:

  • SieMatic cabinetry
  • Stone countertops
  • Dornbracht and/or Kallista fixtures
  • Appliances by Wolf and Miele
  • Full heigh backsplash

The bathrooms come equipped with the following:

  • Limestone flooring
  • Double basin vanity with natural stone, limestone, marble, or onyx finishes
  • Enclosed water closet
  • Dornbracht and/or Kallista fixtures[6]

Floor Plans

Floor plans for this building can be found on its official site, cited below.[7]


  • Concierge services
  • Doorman
  • Porters
  • Valet parking
  • 177 parking spaces
  • Limousine services
  • Security team
  • Housekeeping services
  • Catering services
  • Pet care and dog walking
  • Plant care
  • Fitness Trainers and spa services
  • Landmark Club - full floor private club for residents
  • Fitness Center
  • Spa
  • Billiard room
  • Screening room
  • Grand salon and lounge
  • Dining room
  • Storage facilities
  • Wine storage facilities
  • Laundry services and dry cleaning
  • Car wash services



Ritz-Carlton Residences Bylaws
Pets Yes
Age No

  • This building is pet friendly.
  • There are no age restrictions in this building.


  • The Ritz-Carlton Residences have been built with insulated windows and operable panels that are designed specifically to conserve energy.
  • Additional measures that residents can take include using energy efficient appliances, environmentally friendly household products, and participating in Chicago’s recycling programs.


A picture from No Promise of Safety
  • At the time of its construction, the Ritz-Carlton Residences was the first high rise development to be built on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile in over a decade.[9]
  • In August of 2011, the group No Promise of Safety illegally climbed up this building’s construction crane while the building was still under construction and posted their pictures from the top online.[10]
  • The name of this building can be misleading. While it does contain the Ritz Carlton name, there is no hotel in this building. It is strictly condominiums. There is a Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago that is operated by the Four Seasons Hotel chain, located at 160 East Pearson Street.


  1. Chicago Tribune
  2. Magnificent Mile
  3. Walk Score
  4. Ritz-Carlton Residences Official Site
  5. Chicago Tribune
  6. Ritz-Carlton Residences Official Site
  7. Ritz-Carlton Residences Floor Plans
  8. Ritz-Carlton Chicago Official Site
  9. Chicago Tribune
  10. Curbed Chicago

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