The hotel most recently had a $139-million architectural restoration in 2008. This time around, the renovation was led by Chicago-based Gettys Group, which refreshed the original work of Chicago architectural firm Marshall and Fox to highlight its early twentieth-century grandeur while incorporating technology and modern amenities.
A Chicago landmark on the city’s Cultural Mile along Michigan Avenue, the hotel’s refreshed interior design carries through to the 335 guestrooms and suites with marble accents, and new bedding and textiles. Upgraded accommodations have views of Grant Park and Lake Michigan, spanning from Navy Pier to Soldier Field.
The Blackstone has art pieces throughout the hotel, sourced from more than 1,600 local artists, including in the Art Hall, guestrooms and public spaces.
In years past, the Blackstone has hosted U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries, and is known as the location of Chicago gangster Al Capone’s barbershop, located below street level in a “barbershop” lounge that still remains today.
In 1920, the hotel became known for the Smoke Filled Suite following the Republican party leaders’ secret meeting to nominate Warren G. Harding as their candidate for president. Additionally, the hotel’s Suite of Presidents hosted the likes of President Dwight Eisenhower watching his nomination for president from the room in 1952, and President John F. Kennedy preparing for D.C. negotiations on the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
For dining, The Blackstone Hotel has Mercat a la Planxa, which also recently underwent its own restoration. A new addition following the hotel’s renovation is Timothy’s Hutch.