January 22, 2015
Were having a 70s Flashback for todays Epstein Throwback Thursday as we visit Chicago 1973 for the opening of the 25-story, 619-room McCormick Inn Hotel. For this project Epstein provided architectural design and mechanical, electrical, structural, and civil engineering for this convention hotel featuring 40,000 square feet of public and exhibition space, as well as banquet seating for 1,500 persons.
Built on stilts utilizing Illinois Central Railroad air rights, this building was the first phase of the 17-acre McCormick City complex. The underside of the first concrete slab was 19 feet above the ground and the main entrance was at street level. Additionally, there were five levels below street level -- three levels of these were for parking and two were set aside for meeting rooms. There were also two additional floors of public space which were located above street level.
The three meeting rooms located on the 2nd floor featured movable partitions that could seat up to 1,500 for dinner, and ten small meeting rooms that were opened up into one large room. A swimming pool and health club were also located on this level and food and entertainment services were provided by two restaurants and two lounges -- one of which was on the 24th floor penthouse bar.
The hotel tower was constructed out of bronze glass curtain wall and rose from the brick enclosed base that housed the public areas.
The McCormick Inn was a fixture of the greater McCormick Place Campus until 1993 when it was demolished to make room for the Convention Center South Hall Expansion, a project that was also led by Epstein.