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Jane Addams

Jane Addams: Champion of the poor. Affordable housing advocate. Glitzy hotel brand?

Jane Addams: Champion of the poor. Affordable housing advocate. Glitzy hotel brand?

Fans of community activist and Nobel Prize winner Jane Addams admire her legacy of advocating for the underprivileged people in Chicago and beyond.

But what they've never done is associate Addams with endorsing or fronting a commercial enterprise.

That's about to change because St. Jane Chicago — a derivative of Addams' name — will soon be the title of a rebranded Hard Rock Hotel, which is in the landmark Carbide & Carbon Building on North Michigan Avenue.

The hotel's backers say the St. Jane Chicago, which will open in 2018, will pay homage to Addams, who died in 1935.

That may be true. But leveraging off the reputation of a local historical icon, especially...

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