Coyote Building – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Coyote Building

One of the last functioning antique elevators in Chicago. 


Formally known as the North West Tower, this 12-story 1929 Art Deco skyscraper is one of two buildings whose unique aesthetics make them central landmarks of Wicker Park.

As it sits on a triangular plot formed by the intersection of North Avenue and the diagonal of Milwaukee Avenue, it is itself triangular, and rises to a unique conical spire and flagpole that, dubiously, is said to resemble the upturned nose of a baying coyote.

Facing the Flat Iron Building, it forms a triple intersection with Damen Avenue, referred to as the “Six Corners” of Wicker Park, or less elegantly, “The Crotch”. Though slightly tattered, the Coyote boasts many vintage details, including an attractive lobby and one of the last functioning antique elevators in the city - the elderly attendant will take you up, though he’s not known for friendliness to tourists.  

In the early 1990s, when small art galleries were trying their luck in the then gritty neighborhood, they banded together for an annual arts celebration known as “Around the Coyote”.  Though it’s had financial ups and downs, it undeniably was an important factor in the neighborhood’s ultimate gentrification. More recently, a plan to convert the Coyote into a boutique hotel has been stalled, but will likely resurface.

Update June 2018: The building is now operating as The Robey Hotel.

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