Senior Living. Redefined.

History

Originally built in the early 20th century as the opulent North Shore Hotel, The Merion represents a re-birth and evolution of the architectural marvel that once was. Longstanding at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Davis Street, The North Shore Hotel was known as a distinguished hallmark not only for what it has represented to the community but also for its timeless architectural presence in the heart of Evanston.

After serving tourists and hosting party-goers for several decades, the North Shore Hotel was retired and converted to the North Shore Retirement Hotel. Throughout the 70’s and ensuing years, seniors came to know the North Shore Retirement Hotel as a safe and comfortable place to call home throughout their golden years.

In 2014, the hotel underwent an extensive transformation and restoration that remained sensitive to its historic existence while adding the comforts, design and amenities that today’s retirees have come to expect and deserve from a luxury residence community. In addition to the physical transformation, the hotel was re-named as “The Merion," paying homage to the significance of the S.S. Merion.

S.S. Merion

Built in Scotland in 1902, The S.S. Merion, along with its sister ship, the S.S. Haverford, was a storied oceanliner that played an integral role in bringing thousands of hopeful immigrants to America - the land of opportunity - many of whom ultimately settled down in the Midwest, Chicago and the North Shore. After serving the general public for 13 years by sailing the Liverpool to Philadelphia route, the S.S. Merion was used by the British Admiralty as a decoy battleship during World War I and was ultimately sunk in May 1915 by a German submarine.

Of the many family ties, there is one that has special meaning to us. Abraham Michael, a farm laborer born in Persia, traveled on the S.S. Merion from England to Philadelphia. Arriving on October 3, 1911, with only the shirt on his back and hope for a future, he set out to make a life for himself like many other immigrants of his time. Mr. Michael was the grandfather of Daniel Michael, the current proud owner of The Merion.

A model of the S.S. Merion ship was built in 2013 to commemorate and celebrate the S.S. Merion's rich history, which is on display in The Merion's library.