Chicago Architecture Info
Carbide and Carbon Building
Also known as
The Hard Rock Hotel
Address
230 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Basic Information
Designed by Burnham Brothers
Type Skyscraper
Floors: 40
Maximum height 503 feet/151 meters
Neighborhood: The Loop
More Information
  • Spire height: 50 feet
  • Hotel rooms: 381
  • Architect: Hubert Burnham
  • Architect: Daniel Burnham Junior
  • 2004 Exterior renovation: Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
  • 2004 Interior renovation: Lucien Lagrange and Associates
  • 2004 Interior renovation: Yabu Pushelberg
  • This building was developed for the Carbide and Carbon Company (later known as Union Carbide) to serve as its Midwest regional headquarters.
  • At one time there was an aircraft beacon at the top of this building, similar to the one on the nearby Palmolive Building.
  • In the 2001-2004 renovation, 7,700 blocks of terra cotta were pulled off the exterior of the building and replaced.
  • The Hard Rock Cafe International got $27,000,000 in federal, state, and local tax breaks to perform the 2001-2004 renovation.
  • The original hotel chain lined up for this building was Radisson, but the redevelopers eventually went with Hard Rock.
  • As part of the 2004 renovation, two neighboring 1920's building were demolished to make room for a seven-story addition to house restaurants and ballrooms.
  • The gold highlights of this building are actual gold. Imitation gold was considered, but rejected. The 24-karat gold leaf is 1/5000 of an inch thick.
  • At one time this was the home of WFMF Radio (100.3 FM).
  • At one time this was the home of WJJD Radio (1160 AM).
  • 1996: A plan is floated to convert this office building into 200 condominiums.
  • May 8, 1996: This building is named a City of Chicago Landmark.
  • September, 1997: This building is sold to Mark IV Realty for $7,000,000.
  • 1999: A pedestrian is hit when a piece of the terra cotta facade breaks away from the building.
  • January 1, 2004: After $106,000,000 in renovations, the Hard Rock Hotel opens in this building. An official grand opening ceremony wasn't held until the weather got better.
  • April 21, 2004: The official opening ceremony for the Hard Rock Hotel includes celebrities like actress Carmen Electra and musician Dave Navarro.
  • November 16, 2007: The Hard Rock Hotel completes a $106 million renovation of this building, and begins illuminating the 500-foot tower with floodlights at night. Floodlights are positioned at the 24th and 38th floor and light up nightly.
  • September, 2010: This building was named #33 on Chicago Magazine's list of the Top 40 Buildings in Chicago.