Unique Fun at a Unique Michigan Ave. Hotel
Forget staying in some new construction hotel with no character. Hard Rock Hotel Chicago is situated in the distinctive Carbide & Carbon Building, a building featuring architecture that was rocking out before rock and roll was even a thing. Check out the history of our building and we think you’ll be sold on a stay at Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.
Completed in 1929, the Carbide & Carbon Building is not your typical Art Deco Chicago skyscraper. Most of Chicago's Art Deco architecture is clad in light gray Bedford limestone. The Carbide & Carbon Building, however, has a unique array of colors covering its façade. Composed of a polished black granite base and a tower covered in deep green terra cotta, it stands out as a one-of-a-kind landmark on the downtown Chicago skyline.
Boasting 40 floors and standing more than 500 feet tall, the building is the product of Daniel and Hubert Burnham, the sons of famed Chicago architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham. Popular legend connects the design of the building to a champagne bottle, with the terra cotta exterior corresponding to the green glass bottle and the golden tower alluding to the shiny foil top. If a 40-story building designed after a bottle of bubbly isn’t luxurious, we’re honestly not sure what is.
With its celebratory origins, the Carbide & Carbon Building is a truly authentic home for Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.
At the time of its construction, the building was intended to house offices of the subsidiaries of the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. The ground floor was designed to display products from the businesses located on the floors above. Art Deco bronze details also accent the black granite at ground level and continue into the historic elevator lobby.
On May 9, 1996, the Carbide & Carbon Building was named a Chicago, IL landmark. Upon becoming the home of the Hard Rock Hotel in 2004, the building underwent an additional, lengthy project to fully restore the building to its original grandeur.
On November 16, 2007, the City of Chicago officially recognized the building’s contribution to the rich architectural legacy of the city skyline by permanently illuminating the golden tower. As one of only a handful of Chicago skyscrapers to receive this illumination distinction, the Carbide & Carbon Building shines brightly through the night, reminding city residents, hotel guests, and passersby of architecture's ability to create an evolving and enduring sense of time and place.