Adaptive reuse project transforms century-old warehouse/distribution facility into eco-friendly hotel brand’s Illinois debut
A retrofit converts the historic O’Rourke Building, a former Sears Roebuck & Company warehouse built in 1917, into the 96-room Element Moline extended-stay hotel. The public-private partnership challenged the hotel design team to meet preservation requirements from the National Park Service while capturing Element’s eco-friendly image in the brand’s first adaptive reuse project and its first property in Illinois. The existing 60,000-square-foot structure holds 65% of guest rooms, and a 22,000-square-foot addition houses the remainder.
Element Moline ties into a transit-oriented development called The Q. The hotel renovation includes 16,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space, along with a new glass pavilion that serves as the rail station’s grand hall on the east side.
The addition takes cues from the original building’s spacing, patterning, massing, and proportions. Hardie board, a cost-effective cementitious siding material, complements the brick of the original facility.
Interiors emphasize texture and minimize color to celebrate the facility’s industrial origins. Guests encounter a variety of aesthetic nuances that tell the building’s story: concrete floors and columns, brick walls, and ceilings that display the original concrete structural deck.
Some rooms within the renovated portion reveal Chevron braced frames added to strengthen lateral force resistance after windows were cut into the formerly monolithic east and west walls. Rooms with exposed brick also have a lower metal stud wall with limited spray foam insulation to improve thermal performance. Sheedy/DeLaRosa Interiors led interior design of this project.