The Park Tower in Chicago

Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
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Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
Photo of The Park Tower in Chicago, Illinois
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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The Park Tower
Also known as:The Park Hyatt Chicago Tower

800 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, Near North Side 60611
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Even though it stands across Michigan Avenue from the Hancock Center, the Park Tower is not overshadowed by its magnificent neighbor. This pottery-colored shard represents everything that is the Magnificent Mile: Pencil-thin, fake tanned, dripping in luxuries, and reaching for the stars.

But the John Hancock Center isn't very welcoming of its new neighbor. The mammoth slab across the street bounces winds coming off Lake Michigan right into this tower. Because of this, the northern and southern walls of the building have extra reenforcement, and a mass dampener is located in the top of the building.

This building is most often noted for its luxury hotel, the Park Hyatt. It is interesting to note that this building replaced a previous hotel on the site that went by the same name. The old hotel occupied an entire 16-story building. The new hotel occupies just 15 stories of the 70-story building.

Although the Park Tower is certainly a landmark of modern skyscrapers, it was build without obliterating history. It occupies the location of the 1907 Perkins, Fellows & Hamilton Office and Studio. The facade of that building was preserved and the Park Tower built 40 feet back so that the old facade looks like it's a free-standing building.

Quick Facts
Statistics
  • Hotel rooms: 203
  • Residences: 117
  • Additional floors: The mechanical equipment space on the 68th floor is large enough that it is counted as three floors.
  • Retail floor space: 14,668 square feet
Notes
  • Architect: Lucien Lagrange
  • Structural engineer: Chris Stefanos Associates
  • Developer: LR Development
  • Although this building is frequently described as being 67 stories tall, that is incorrect. It is 68 stories.
  • This is the first building in the United States to be designed with a tuned mass damper from the outset. While other skyscrapers in America have the anti-sway contraptions, they were always added later.
  • This building was originally intended to be 650 feet tall. But the ceiling heights were increased, allowing it to reach 844 feet.
  • When this building opened, one of its selling points was the views of the city from the hotel bathtubs.
  • The pendulum in the top mechanical floor weighs 400 tons.
  • The top eight floors of this building each contain only one residence. Each residence is 8,400 square feet.
Stacking Diagram
69-70: 
68: 
20-67: 
19: 
8-18: 
7: 
3-6: 
2: 
1: 
Did You Know?
  • This used to be the site of a 16-story Park Hyatt Hotel, built in 1960.
Look For
  • Thicker north and south walls, which help brace the building against winds off of Lake Michigan sped up by the nearby John Hancock Center and Water Tower Place.
Controversy
  • At the time of its opening, this building was criticized for overwhelming Water Tower Park with its scale and contributing to the canyonization of Michigan Avenue.
Quotations
    **"The 7th floor hotel restaurant ... projects diagonally over the park. Its dark glass walls and modernist look -- a jarring note in this mostly traditional project -- make it seem like the place where Darth Vader has power lunches."^^^Chicago Tribune, July 23, 2000vvv
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Your Thoughts

There is one comment.

  I like the setback dampered roof on top, it makes this building stand-out that much more. Even if it was built in 2000, it looks like it compliments the art deco style, with its vertical straight down blue glass, and yellow concrete. Lucien LaGrange is just amazing in that respect.

Brent Kampert - Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 @ 10:14am