Dark Matter: Is Milshire Hotel a Real Hotel in Chicago?

Apple TV+’s ‘Dark Matter’ explores different versions of Chicago as seen by Jason Dessen, who is torn away from his own world and thrown into a kaleidoscope of multiple realities with no way back home. With each episode, the show unfolds more layers of the multiverse while raising the stakes for Jason I to come back home before he runs out of time. While he knows how the box he and Amanda are stuck in works, it is much more difficult to learn to control its direction, which lands him in a Chicago that looks a lot like his but isn’t quite so. One such detail appears in a version where we see Jason and Amanda check into a hotel that hints at the subtle differences between the worlds. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Real Milshire Hotel Has a Different Story in Our Reality

In the alternate world, Jason and Amanda decide to catch their breaths and lay low for a while, so they check into the Milshire Hotel to spend a night. In real life, the Milshire Hotel is a real place, but it is not currently open to the public. Unlike its version in ‘Dark Matter,’ the real Milshire is permanently closed and doesn’t host any guests at the moment.

Located at 2525 N Milwaukee Ave, Milshire Hotel opened its doors to the public in the 1920s as a single-room occupancy building. While it was popular for several decades, it fell into squalor and had been sitting empty for eight years before it was bought by Mark Fishman for $2.4 million in 2014. Reportedly, he plans to redevelop it into an apartment building. While no concrete plan has been put in motion yet, it is reported that Fishman wants to keep the building’s historical features, especially the facade, while making the necessary changes to revive it.

In 2022, Fishman put up the hotel’s iconic 80-year-old neon sign on auction, with the bidding starting at $5000. However, he eventually changed his mind when the preservationists launched a campaign to buy the sign with the intention of keeping it in the neighborhood and saving the “defining feature of Logan Square’s commercial corridor.” Fishman joined hands with the community to make sure that the sign and, hence, the place’s historical heritage is preserved.


The importance of the sign reverberates in ‘Dark Matter’ as Jason sees it as the thing that makes this Chicago different from his Chicago. In the sixth episode, he and Amanda go through many versions of Chicago that look close enough to Jason’s but aren’t so. There is always one thing or another that is off about the place, showing Jason why he cannot stay there and must move on. Due to the importance of Chicago in the storyline, the show’s creators decided to film the series in Chicago, and it makes sense that they would include something like the Milshire Hotel to send the point across about how seemingly little things can matter a lot in alternate realities.

Read More: Dark Matter: How Does the Interdimensional Travel Box Work, Explained