Following its 35-year legacy as one of the nation’s top destinations for globally sourced design and architectural statement pieces, Architectural Artifacts, Inc. (AAI) has reimagined a 35,000-square-foot Mid Century-style school to introduce its latest concept. Brainchild of legendary antiques dealer and Founder Stuart Grannen in partnership with Robert and Debra Baum of Bedderman Hospitality, AAI will infuse hospitality with world-class design. The concept will invite guests to experience chef-driven food and beverage offerings, as well as multi-use private and large-scale event spaces in addition to its signature art, antiques, and one-of-a-kind furnishings. Located at 1065 N. Orleans St. AAI is slated to open to the public in mid-July 2022.
“We’ve created a place that’s unlike anything else in the world,” said AAI Founder, Stuart Grannen. “After decades spent traveling the globe searching for interesting and evocative artifacts, I’ve built a collection that’s unmatched — no kidding, it’s jaw-dropping. I can’t wait to share these pieces in our new place, which celebrates the joy of the hunt but also brings people together. We’ve built a hub where people from all walks of life can eat, drink, host, shop and play under one roof.”
Guests will have the opportunity to ignite their imagination and invigorate the senses through AAI’s range of spaces and programming:
The Store – AAI’s sought-after design gallery space, with additional furniture and wares featured throughout the building, and all pieces available for purchase
The Cafe – Indoor/outdoor European-inspired all-day cafe and wine bar with a full menu of artisan coffee, wine, lite bites and pizza by Lula Cafe’s Executive Chef, Andrew Holladay
The Bar – Speakeasy bar with a secret back-alley entrance, adjacent to the gallery space
The (Ball)room – Vintage Gymnasium-turned-Ballroom to host large-scale weddings, corporate conferences and retreats that transforms into a Gymnasium for a Pickleball club and other sporting events
The Classrooms – Private outfitted spaces set up like individual antique shops, where groups can rent out for bridal showers, meetings and events, podcasts, brand pop-ups and more
Bridal Suite / Green Room – Curated space with full makeup and lounge areas for the big day or camera crews
With years of hospitality experience, operating and outfitting top hotels with unique AAI finds in Chicago, Nashville and beyond, Debra and Robert Baum are excited to integrate their expertise and bring their working relationship with Grannen to the next level for a full guest experience. The Baums will be joined by multiple AAI Development and Business Partners including Luke Blahnik, Owner of Avondale Bowl in Chicago, Ill.
“Our goal in joining forces with Stuart was to fill a void in the experiential market by introducing a fresh, thoughtful concept that encompasses all potential leisure or event plans – whether a date night, a wedding, a pickleball game – in one destination,” said Robert Baum. “We feel this is what entertainment and hospitality should look like, where a mesmerizing emporium of cool finds is enjoyed with delicious pizza or negroni in hand.”
At its core, AAI will maintain its reputation for discovering historical treasures with present-day relevance while presenting a newly curated and robust selection of world-class artifacts. It will serve to enable guests – from the intrigued browser to the motivated collector – to discover new arts and activities in a unique setting. The design gallery will also now feature a special QR code scan, where guests can hear straight from Grannen a recording outlining where he found certain pieces as well as their origin. Guests can also make purchases online through AAI’s e-commerce platform, available on their website. AAI will officially open its doors to the public in mid-July 2022 and is located at 1065 N. Orleans St., Chicago in the Near North Side neighborhood, close to River North.
For more information, including the full list of programming and events as well as the e-commerce platform, visit www.architecturalartifacts.com.
Featured Image Credit: Architectural Artifacts Inc