Sutherland Hotel makes remarkable comeback as luxury apartments

June 11, 2013 (CHICAGO)

"Jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, Coltrane," Greg Guttman, Mac Property Management, said.

On the border of Bronzeville and Hyde Park, the Sutherland Hotel has been at the corner of Drexel Boulevard and 47th Street for nearly 100 years. The seven-story building was one of the rare spots on the South Side where whites and blacks would comfortably mingle.

"It was one of the first hotels that allowed African Americans to perform in a white audience. At the time it was called black and tan, but today, we would refer to it as integrated," Guttman said.

The building fell on hard times starting in the 1970s, but last year, a renovation project began to transform the Sutherland into a luxury apartment building. During the process, some original features, like these murals, were restored and the building's importance in the jazz era served as a design inspiration.

"Jazz is about breaking up pattern and we used a lot of the theme of syncopations throughout the building," Guttman said.

That can be seen in the black and white doorways on each floor. The building has studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments for rent that are going fast.

Carl Hearne is set to move in in July.

"Chicago is full of history with music. So to be here it's a blessing. So I'm excited," Hearne said.

During the renovation project, workers unearthed the original cursive sign in the Sutherland's basement, which has been refit with neon.

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