The Gwen Chicago

"Lux" Glamour on Michigan Avenue

Client: Simeone Deary Design Group via Brassell Design Consultants
Scope: Custom Architectural Artwork
The McGraw-Hill Building underwent a controversial "facade-ectomy" when it acquired landmark status after a developer made plans to raze it In order to carry out plans for a mall leading to a Nordstrom's a block away without razing the McGraw-Hill Building, the developer kept the facade but built a new structure on which to hang it
So Buck reluctantly modified his plan. Instead of being torn down, the McGraw-Hill Building would undergo a “façade-ectomy,” an oft-derided process in which a historical façade is maintained while a new structure is built behind it. Buck’s proposed mall would still run from Michigan over Rush to the new Nordstrom behind it; now it would just run through the McGraw-Hill Building rather than over its demolished memory.
But the elegant façade was worth saving. Dating from the same decade as the Wrigley Building a block to the south, it is the only remaining Art Deco building on Michigan Avenue besides the Palmolive Building, and it displays the strong vertical lines and setbacks characteristic of that style. Its most noteworthy feature is a series of stylish sculptural panels around the fourth floor depicting the Zodiac, as well as three panels of Greek deities – Diana, Atlas, and Helios – above the main entrance. The facade of the McGraw-Hill Building features sculptural panels with Greek deities and the Zodiac, by the artists Gwen and Eugene Lux
the McGraw-Hill is 17 stories – and just the façade cost around $10 million.
These decorative limestone panels survive as examples of the ornamentation found on the prestige buildings that were first constructed along North Michigan Avenue from 1918-1930.
An example of Art Deco architecture, the building combines classical and modern decoration in its distinctive style. Most noteworthy are gggggthe hand-carved zodiac-themed limestone panels which adorn the building's facade.

Chicago-born Gwen Lux designed the bas-relief sculptures depicting the zodiac that are featured on the exterior of the building. These now serve as inspiration for each room’s iteration of her works above the bed. 
Artist Gwen Creighton Lux (1908-1987) was an important sculptress, designer, teacher and lecturer. A female pioneer in her medium, her large sculptures were abstract in style and were typically constructed from polyester resin, concrete and metals. In addition to her significant contributions to the Chicago vernacular, she also created the large metal figures on the exterior of Rockefeller Center in New York.
Sculptress Gwen Creighton Lux
The Gwen's Exterior Facade
with Original Sculpted Panels
A Preserved Panel in the Atrium
of The Shops at Northbridge
Capricorn & Virgo Panels in the Lobby
Capricorn Headboard Wall Art
Capricorn Room Mockup
Virgo Headboard Wall Art
Virgo Room Mockup
Custom wallcovering behind the minibars.
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