2018 conference map

Location information for the 2018 LION Summit.

August 24, 2018 by Dylan Smith


CTA's L train is available between downtown Chicago and both O'Hare and Midway airports. Metro stops are indicated on the map with an "M." Trains from O'Hare take about 45 minutes to travel downtown, while Midway trains take about 30 minutes.


LION Publishers has arranged a block of rooms for Oct. 11-13 at the Best Western Grant Park Hotel in Chicago, just a block from the site of the summit, at a special discounted rate of $199 for single and double rooms. Register online here or call the hotel at (312) 922-2900 and mention "LION" to reserve a room. The deadline for obtaining that rate is Sept. 11, but the block of rooms could be filled up by then, so act soon. The group rate will be honored up to three days before and after the conference, for those who wish to spend some extra time in Chicago.

Because of a quirk in the online reservation system, it's difficult to book rooms online for a stretch that includes Wednesday-Saturday nights. It's possible to book Weds/Thurs/Fri and a separate booking for Saturday night, or Weds and Thurs/Fri/Sat. We've asked Best Western to figure out what might be happening, but that's a work-around for the moment. Availability of rooms for Saturday night is limited.

Another block of rooms is available at the Congress Plaza Hotel, four blocks up Michigan Avenue from the Best Western. Rooms there are $179 per night (possibly cheaper via your favorite online booking outlet), but Saturday night is sold out. Reseve online or call 312-427-3800 x 5025 or 800-635-1666.

Also, you can check out other nearby hotels listed on the map above. A Travelodge is just a few blocks up Wabash from the conferences site, but rooms are limited on Saturday night. If you're looking for a fancier hotel than the Best Western, the Loop is filled with them. The Hilton's a couple blocks away, and there are even snazzier ones. Columbia College also maintains a list of recommended hotels, and for those on a very tight budget, there's a hostel within walking distance that can be as low as $40 per night (that's cheaper than a cab ride from the airport). Need a roommate? Use our Roomate Roster list to help find someone to split hotel costs.


October 11-13, Thursday morning through Saturday evening, on the downtown urban campus of Colubmia College Chicago. Sessions on Thursday and Friday will be held in the Film Row Cinema and classrooms on the 8th floor of 1104 S. Wabash, just off South Michigan Avenue in the Loop. Friday night's reception will be held on the third floor of that building. Sessions on Saturday will be on the second and ninth floors of 618 S. Michigan Ave., just a few blocks north, with the closing reception on the second floor.

1104 South Wabash – Film Row Cinema

The conference will include activities on the 8th floor:

  • Film Row Cinema — 260-seat theatre
  • Lobby & South Lobby
  • Breakout A
  • Breakout B
  • Breakout C

And the lobby of the 3rd floor, where the Friday evening reception will be held.

618 South Michigan

Sessions on Saturday will be on the second and ninth floors of 618 S. Michigan Ave., with the closing reception on the second floor. Stay tuned for more information and a floor plan.

  • 2rd floor lobby: Meals and reception
  • Stage Two: 2nd floor theatre
  • 9th floor rooms: Breakouts A, B, C & D

The Ludington Building

The initial site of the 2018 LION Summit is the historic Ludington Building, the earliest steel-frame building still standing in Chicago.

The building was designed by architect William LeBaron Jenney, who is acknowledged as the "Father of the Skyscraper" due to his developing the fire-proofed metal skeleton-frame system of construction. The structure on South Wasbash, built in 1891, is one of only two remaining loft-style buildings designed by Jenney in Chicago. The eight-story, 177,000-square-foot building was one of the first skycrapers entirely clad in terra-cotta.

The building was remodeled on the interior by Columbia College after the school purchased the structure in 1999. It has a long history in the publishing business — it was commissioned by Mary Ludington Barnes for the American Book Company, owned by her husband, Charles Barnes — and is a fitting site for a gathering of publishers. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Architect and engineer Jenney trained many influential Chicago architects at the turn of the 20th century, including the world-famous Louis Sullivan.

The Ludington Building is an archetype of the Chicago School of design of its period, with a flat roof, cornice and subtle ornamentation, as well as large banks of windows made possible by the steel frame. It "represents one of the high points of its designer… Its purity of form and delicacy of ornamental detail mark it as one of the most significant visual landmarks of the South Loop," according to the Chicago Commission on Landmarks.

The building's frame was built to withstand the enormous weight and vibration of the American Book Company's presses and shipping operations, as well as a intended addition that would have pushed the building to 16 stories in height. From the 1960s until its purchase by the college, it was used as an auto-parts warehouse.

The Arcade Building

Another historic Chicago building will be the site of the Saturday sessions of the 2018 LION Summit. The building at 618 S. Michigan Ave. was designed by architect William Carbys Zimmerman in 1913. Known as the Arcade Building, the 10-story building sported a grid-like façade with large windows and minimal masonry and housed specialty shops, photographers, publishers and the American Red Cross. The seventh floor of this building was also home to Columbia College from 1927 until 1936 when it was associated with the Pestalozzi Froebel Teachers’ College.

In the early 1950s, the building served as the Midwestern Regional offices of IBM Corporation and in 1958, the original terra cotta façade was removed and replaced with a modern curtain wall by the architectural firm McClurg Shoemaker McClurg for IBM.

In 1974 it became home to the Spertus Institute, from whom Columbia College Chicago purchased the building in 2006 to use for classrooms, a gallery, study collections, an event space and a learning center.

In 2010, the city of Chicago determined that the 1950s-era façade had to be replaced for safety reasons. The new glass curtain façade uses a digital ceramic printing technique that shows an image of the original terra cotta façade etched into the surface of the glass, with each pixel of the image an abstracted representation of a bird in flight.

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