The JW Marriott at 151 W. Adams St. in Chicago’s South Loop opened two years ago. A newly renovated vintage building complete with a decorative fountain in the lobby, the 610-unit high-end hotel was completed in November, 2010, by Chicago developer Michael Reschke. He also reportedly leads the venture that owns the hotel and Marriott International Inc. runs it.
The Chicago Department of Public Health confirmed a deadly outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in the hotel, with three people dead and 10 confirmed cases. Hotel management told the press they took safety measures to stop the bacterium from spreading. Legionella, the bacterium that causes the disease, festers in water and often spreads through infected droplets in air conditioning systems, swimming pools and other types of water systems. Hotel officials removed the water fountain from the lobby as well as drained, deep-cleaned and closed other water sources including the pool, whirlpool and spa locker room, according to a Crain’s Chicago Business story. The features that Reschke told Crain’s Chicago Business in an interview two years ago upon its opening were to be the crown jewels of the hotel – its atrium lobby and its large spa and fitness center – are at the very core of the Legionnaire’s disease problem today.
The hotel management announced that it was trying to contact all 8,500 guests who stayed at their establishment during the time in question: July 16 to August 15. Hotel officials reportedly are cooperating with the investigation into the deadly outbreak.
November, 2010, marked the opening of the half-vacant vintage building that Reschke and a team of investors reportedly put $396 million in to renovate it. With 44,000 square feet of meeting space, two ballrooms and a 25,000 square foot spa and fitness center, he opened it with the intent of competing with pricey hotels further north like the Peninsula and Four Seasons.
It tried to attract those from the nearby Financial District with fine dining and restaurants. Originally built in 1914 by Chicagoan David Burnham, it was built in a Classical revival-style.