Prohibition Hideout & Honey Pot of Old-Growth Wood

When I pulled up to the Berwyn Hotel my imagination took me back to the 1920s.  Al Capone was rumored to frequent the hotel during Prohibition.  His operations were based in the town next door, Cicero, so I believed the rumor.  Each step up to the third floor, my imagination took me back in time.  Did Al Capone walk these halls and touch the same hand carved wood banister I just did?

Built in 1922, construction of the Berwyn Hotel was about $200,000.  Located in Berwyn, a suburb of Chicago, and known as one of the first eastern towns on old historic Route 66.  At its inaugural dinner-dance opening over 200 guests attended.  Local clubs, labor unions and political parties held events at the hotel.  The hotel even had an elegant tea room, cigar stand in the lobby and a ballroom added in 1929.  Walking through the building, I envisioned the hotel in all its glory in the 1920s; luxury, elegance and maybe organized crime.

The Berwyn Hotel is a great example of adaptive reuse.  In 2018, it was gutted of all the old wood joists and renovated into apartments.  I was lucky and purchased all of the old-growth lumber from inside the hotel.  Allowing for not only adaptive reuse of the building but also reuse of original building materials into reclaimed furniture.  At the time Land Rover was profiling me in an adventure docu-film series, so I am also fortunate to have video footage of this grande dame.  Check out the video below and think if only those walls could talk...what did they witness?

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