As our own Kevin Reichard wrote in 2015, Davis had a sweeping effect on ballpark design in the early 20th century. Several years before he focused his efforts on the north side of Chicago, Davis oversaw the design of White Sox Park, which opened in July 1910 and became Comiskey Park in 1913. While that ballpark no longer stands, it was a marvel for its time and lasted through the 1990 season.
Cubs Park, which is what ballpark was renamed after the Cubs arrived, did not expand significantly until William Wrigley took control of the franchise in the early 1920’s. Wrigley eventually ordered the expansion of the ballpark and made the correct decision in bringing Davis back on the project. The seating was expanded by way of constructing an upper deck over Davis’ original seating bowl, with lower bowl extended down the left field line.
Considering that the core of Wrigley Field remains intact-and will stay in place after the ongoing renovations are complete-Davis had a remarkable influence on the ballpark. That prompted the decision by the Ricketts family-which controls Hickory Street Capital as well as the Cubs-to name the hotel in his honor.
“We are proud to bring Hotel Zachary to the Wrigleyville neighborhood as part of our commitment to enhance the Lakeview community,” said Tom Ricketts, chairman of Hickory Street Capital said in a statement. “With this new hotel, we look forward to paying respect to the rich and storied history of Chicago architecture, while creating a unique hotel experience for guests.”
Though its name is a homage to the past, Hotel Zachary’s design has a somewhat modern look and feel. It also typifies the planned Wrigley Field development by offering the ability to diversify the dining and entertainment options around Wrigleyville. The hotel will feature 175 rooms, and be a part of the slate of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts brands. In addition, Hotel Zachary will be built to house separate retail and restaurants offerings, giving the 238,000 square foot structure more to offer beyond the hotel.
Hotel Zachary will be constructed adjacent to Wrigley Field, and has a planned opening of 2018. The step of naming a hotel after ballpark architect is certainly a rare one. Yet, with his influence over one of baseball’s most classic ballparks, Davis is certainly a worthy choice for the honor, even though it comes a century after he began making his mark.
Ballpark rendering of the Zachary Taylor Davis website. Hotel rendering courtesy of Hickory Street Capital.
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