The Tower N. Sister Cities Café, Hostel & Gallery


The Tower N building exterior.


The Tower N interior.


The Shower area for Hostel.


Future bed rooms for Hostel.

The Tower N. Sister Cities Café, Hostel & Gallery

8259 S. Commercial Avenue, b.1909 – 7th Ward

This building is where LHI’s founder was raised, and which his grandfather, at age eight, played in as he watched it be built. It is currently under renovation to serve all again. As a teaching example for those in the trades it is being used to help train those in the community in the building, design and business trades to offer hands-on experience for instructing how a project of this magnitude goes from concept, to design, to construction, to implementation.

It will provide exchange students and other travelers hostelling international lodging benefits, wherein travelers can lodge inexpensively at a clean and save facility be able to easily get on to the 83rd Street Metra Electric – South Chicago Branch Station that gets one downtown in 32 minutes. Train passes UChi, Museum of Science & Industry, McCormick Place & Soldier Field, and Grant/Millennium Park. One could also take from directly in front of The Tower N. the CTA bus #26 to downtown, or #71 bus or #5 night bus that both link to the downtown CTA Red Line.

Twelve guest rooms are planned for this three-story facility for it to lodge up to 36 people. Small kitchenettes will allow guests to cook their meals. And laundry and internet facilities will be available. An outdoor meet-and-greet patio is planned as an extension of the second floor, atop its flat roof’s east end. By such aspects of community shared living spaces, and the options guests and students will have to experience South Chicago with our ongoing LHI learning programs, the interactive features of these opportunities will allow all people involved–from local community to world traveler–the conditions needed to see the best in each other in neighbors coming together.

The café, as an independent enterprise, will serve as a public restaurant for all. Its international cuisine menu will offer a sample of the sister cities foods from around the world being tasted and talked about right here in South Chicago. Its options for people to submit recipes from their home country or regions will offer people to try new means to sample their food and get feedback from a wide range of taste-testers, including local chef involvement.

The gallery, being in service for display within the separate full basement below the café, will allow local artists to exhibit their works of art and to generate conversation that can be facilitated there within its large open-air space.

Bicyclist and others coming to Tower N. from along any of the bike paths will be able to safely house their bikes in the Houston U bike garage directly east of Tower N. Other items like kayaks and skates will also be housed there. Kids and parents participating in LHI’s ES programs can tour locally, or along the E 83rd St Bike Trail to Dan Ryan Woods and its Major Taylor Trail on Western Ave. A new Divvy bike station has been approved for installation this summer at 83rd & Commercial, linking all our sight seeking and team building tours with ES at Russell Square Park.

Funds generated from The Tower N. will go into offsetting expenses associated with operating any of the other LHI facilities that do not necessarily have as much revenue-generating possibilities due to either the nature of the their housed items of interest or the level of patron participation that such a building’s usage expense requires.

As part of the Commercial Avenue Revitalization Project from 83rd to 93rd Streets, this hostel once completed will be the only hostel/hotel existing between Hyde Park and Hammond, Indiana. Its benefit for stabilizing the neighborhood and offering new enthusiasm to Lakeside Development at the former US Steel – South Works lands will being needed investment through LHI’s forward thinking model that investors will demand for their success.

After six court appearances LHI was able get ownership of The Tower N. building, purchasing it for a nickel back in July 2014 and saving it from the wrecking ball. The mantle is completely on LHI’s shoulders to repurpose it again.