Guyon Hotel

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Guyon Hotel
Guyon Hotel Chicago IL.jpg
The Guyon Hotel in 2010
Guyon Hotel is located in Chicago metropolitan area
Guyon Hotel
Guyon Hotel is located in Illinois
Guyon Hotel
Guyon Hotel is located in the US
Guyon Hotel
Location4000 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°52′55″N 87°43′35″W / 41.88194°N 87.72639°W / 41.88194; -87.72639Coordinates: 41°52′55″N 87°43′35″W / 41.88194°N 87.72639°W / 41.88194; -87.72639
Arealess than one acre
Built1928 (1928)
NRHP reference #85000966[1]
Added to NRHPMay 9, 1985

The Guyon Hotel is a historic former hotel in Chicago, Illinois. The hotel was designed by Jensen J. Jensen - no relation to the famous landscape architect Jens Jensen - in 1927 and was built in red and cream brick with arched windows on two floors and exquisite, detailed terra cotta ornaments typical of Jensen's work. After the hotel opened in 1928, owner J. Louis Guyon mounted two AM radio towers to broadcast his radio station, WGES; the station aired morally conservative programming and music.[2] Guyon sold WGES in the 1930s, and it left the hotel in the mid-1940s, but it continues to broadcast as WGRB. In the late 1940s, the AM towers were replaced with an FM tower, and WOAK began broadcasts from the hotel. WOAK became WFMT in the 1950s and began airing classical music; the station has since moved but still broadcasts classical music.[3]

After the hotel closed, the building was renovated and converted to affordable housing in the 1980s by the non-profit group Bethel New Life. Former President Jimmy Carter stayed in the renovated hotel for a week while working on a rehabilitation project with Habitat for Humanity; his room was reportedly "roach-infested" and "furnished with only a couch and a milk crate".[2] The housing effort ultimately failed when Bethel New Life ran out of funds. The building currently lies vacant and has changed possession four times since 2005. Due to building code violations, the hotel is in city demolition court; it is considered one of the ten most endangered landmarks in Illinois by the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.[4]

The Guyon Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 9, 1985.[1]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b Moser, Whet (April 27, 2012). "A Short History of Chicago's Beautiful, Decrepit Guyon Hotel". Chicago. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  3. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Guyon Hotel" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  4. ^ "Hotel Guyon". 2012 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places. Landmarks Illinois. Retrieved January 8, 2013.