Chicago Architecture Info

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

Photographs

Facts

Formerly
  • The InterContinental Hotel
  • The Hotel Inter-Continental
  • The Medinah Athletic Club
Address 505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611
Neighborhood Streeterville
Built 1929
Architect Walter W. Alschlager
Type
  • Hotel
  • Retail
  • Skyscraper
Floors 45
Height 471 feet
Hotel rooms 517 (Plus 346 in the north tower. See note below.)

Notes

  • The tower-like structure near the onion dome was once used as a blimp mooring. It was later an observation deck. It is now closed to the public, except for special occasions and for V.I.P.s.
  • The gold onion dome is mostly empty except for a spiral staircase leading to the observatory.
  • The lower facade of this building contains Egyptian and Assyrian-style reliefs depicting the origins of the Freemasons.
  • The building's original ammenities included a miniature golf course, and a shooting range.

Timeline

1989 This building was bought by Inter-Continental Hotels.
1990 This building reopened as The Hotel Inter-Continental. Later, Inter-Continental made the south tower the InterContinental Hotel, and the north tower The Forum Hotel. Eventually it was decided that having two adjoined hotels wasn't working, so the two buildings were unified into a single two-tower InterContinental Hotel.
December, 2007 The TV quiz show Jeopardy mentioned the whale mural on the east side of this building in one of its answers. Unfortunately, when the episode aired, the whale mural had already been covered up by the construction of a condominium building next door.
December, 2012 A man climbed onto the roof of this building and fell down its chimney. He later died at the hospital. His girlfriend told police he wanted to take a picture.

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