The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University Joins the Autograph Collection

Union Club Hotel

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana—The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University, Autograph Collection, celebrates Purdue University’s legacy through designs that focus on the evolution and spirit of the 153-year-old public institution.

As part of Autograph Collection Hotels, The Union Club Hotel joins a collection of more than 200 independent hotels around the world selected for their perspectives on design and hospitality. At the hotel, guests can explore the use of Purdue’s gold-and-black colors with nods to academia and pride for alumni.

Owned by Purdue University and managed by White Lodging, The Union Club Hotel was built in 1929 as an extension to the Purdue Memorial Union and underwent a transformation during the 2019-2020 academic year.

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Design and Legacy

The transformation of The Union Club Hotel is concealed behind the historic building facade featuring the same brick and American Gothic-inspired architecture common across many universities.

As guests pass into the main lobby space, they are greeted with black-and-gold mosaic tile next to the two-story front desk area featuring a backdrop of monochrome bookshelves. The bookshelves have projections of Purdue artwork and famous figures, including Amelia Earhart. The lobby has upholstered fabric furniture reminiscent of professor jackets and suiting collections, inlaid Purdue icons, and a hidden lobby bar.

Artwork is seen throughout the guestrooms and public space and offers a peek into Purdue’s history. Curated and sourced with the assistance of Purdue archivists, the collection reflects the diversity of the student population and the university’s place as a public research institution developing practical solutions.

Eat and Drink

The culinary hub of The Union Club Hotel is 8Eleven Modern Bistro. The eatery incorporates the building’s historical architectural features and celebrates two of NASA’s programs, Gemini 8 and Apollo 11, as well as the missions’ command pilot, Purdue alum Neil Armstrong. The bistro’s menu pairs regional and seasonal ingredients with a nod to classics.

Boiler Up Bar honors the university’s traditions and personalities. In this cocktail lounge, garnishes are provided by Purdue’s College of Agriculture for its farm-inspired cocktails, while a selection of bourbons and whiskeys that tells the story of Indiana’s small-batch distilleries. Leaps Coffee & Artisan Pastries is the property’s grab-and-go market.

Additionally, for events, The Union Club Hotel’s 16 meeting spaces can host intimate and grand gatherings, including ballrooms, boardrooms, and an outdoor patio.

Connection to Students

The Union Club Hotel has the opportunity to develop the next generation of hospitality professionals. By collaborating with Purdue’s White Lodging—J.W. Marriott School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, the hotel acts as a hands-on learning laboratory for students where they spend time working and learning about hotel and restaurant operations while earning college credits. Joining the Autograph Collection gives students additional learning opportunities, as the systems, processes, and resources used to operate the hotel are supported by Marriott International.

“Throughout history, generations of Purdue graduates have left their mark, in small steps and giant leaps,” said Vicki Wicks, general manager of The Union Club Hotel at Purdue University, Autograph Collection. “Joining Autograph Collection Hotels is a giant leap for Purdue’s hospitality program and further reinforces the world-class amenities we offer at The Union Club Hotel.”

The Union Club Hotel is also host to the LAUNCH Hospitality Immersion Program. Directed by White Lodging, LAUNCH is a multi-year talent development program crafted to propel a select number of university students into the industry by providing paid, hands-on experience at the hotel and internship/job opportunities at White Lodging.

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