Chicago Architecture Info

Carbide and Carbon Building

Also known as
The Hard Rock Hotel
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.