Selected by Statewide Architect Association for the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial
The Illinois Council of The American Institute of Architects (AIA Illinois) has named The Hyatt Regency O’Hare as one of Illinois’ 200 Great Places, in honor of the state’s Bicentennial in 2018. The announcement was made as part of National Architecture Week, which showcases the innovative and talented architects who’ve made positive contributions to society and coincides with the birthday week of the nation’s first president-architect, Thomas Jefferson, on April 12.
Nominations came from architects from all parts of the state and were selected by AIA regional chapters. Nominations were weighed against criteria including the AIA’s “10 Principles of Livable Communities.” They must be publicly accessible, pedestrian-friendly, designed on a human scale, and provide vibrant, public spaces, among other requirements.
The John Portman-designed, iconic 1969 Hyatt Regency O’Hare, one of world’s largest convention hotels, is ideally located near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, 15 miles from downtown Chicago, and conveniently connected to the Donald E. Steven’s Convention Center via a skybridge.
The original John Portman design of the Hyatt was called revolutionary and was awarded AIA’s Innovative Hotel Design award in 1978. Updates nearly 50 years later respect the dynamic elements of the original design, with progressive changes both functionally and aesthetically to complement the original soaring atrium design.
AIA Illinois’ Illinois Great Places recognition program was created in 2007 to commemorate AIA’s 150th anniversary and was designed to broadly include the “built environment,” which includes civil, landscape and engineering places, as well as architecture. All of the 200 Great Places are featured in a new website at illinoisgreatplaces.com.