If hipster artisans created a museum, it would look a lot like Hotel Lincoln. Maps, chairs, and trunks are scattered throughout Hotel Lincoln, so diverse they give the impression of having been collected during a cross-country road trip. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. And the art? Nailed (bolted) to a two-story red wall.
Not too many people—the guests or the locals that are drawn to this hangout—make it by the front desk’s “Wall of Bad Art” without gawking at what self-proclaimed artists have produced. Somehow, though, no matter how bad, it makes people laugh. It makes them wistful, and, occasionally, it leaves them wanting (thus, the bolts). The front desk is a mishmash of reclaimed drawers; one of them is even filled with dog treats. How sharp is a dog’s sense of smell? It’s pretty good, you’ll soon see. The art theme continues in the preppy tartan-carpeted guest rooms, where vintage photographs and local pieces hang, and oddball sculptures are placed on leather bedside tables that look like old trunks. The locals come so often for drinks to Elaine’s Coffee Call, as well as the J. Parker rooftop bar, that both have been named bests by many city publications. The rooftop is a sweet spot for yoga, which is held in-season. The thought of a sun salutation toward the sprawling Lincoln Park below is ironic, considering where you are. After all, Abraham Lincoln, for whom the park is named, was assassinated because of a neglectful, inebriated bodyguard who presumably left his post for a tipple. His name was J. Parker. Looks like he’s still watching over Lincoln while pouring drinks.