Two weeks ago we took a Throwback Thursday trip back to August 1974 for the opening of the Epstein-designed 36-story, 1,000 room Hyatt Regency Chicago. This week, we make a return stop to the same site, this time in April 1980, for the opening of the Epstein-designed 33-story addition to the Hyatt Regency Chicago. This expansion added 1,100 guest rooms to the Hyatt creating a two-building mega Hotel/Convention/Exhibition Center complex comprised of over 2,000 rooms along with a new 25,000 square foot ballroom, which at the time was the largest in the Midwest, to complement the existing 17,000 square foot ballroom.
These two buildings were connected through two glass enclosed walkways allowing the separate structures to operate as one unified hotel.
Like the original Hyatt Regency Chicago building, the addition also featured a dramatic atrium. This new facility included a dramatic 4-story glass-enclosed atrium along with a 4,000 square foot lagoon which included trees and hanging plants, surrounded by a café and cocktail bar.
The Hyatt Regency Chicago Addition also contained 27-floors of guest rooms and four floors of special VIP suites. These suites included concierge services, bars, fireplaces, saunas, whirlpool baths, and special elevator service ensuring privacy for these guests.
The Addition Building recently went through a pretty substantial renovation of the entrance lobby by the New York design firm of Bentel & Bentel with assistance from our friends at BauerLatoza Studio. The new lobby retains the ‘bones’ of the Epstein design but has completely re-envisioned the interiors. The lagoon is gone as well as much of the 2nd level atrium, but we definitely give the new designers much credit for modernizing this grand space.