CHICAGO-The Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago, an 844-room hotel built in 1929, will undergo a major renovation starting in December. Located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile on North Michigan Avenue, the renovation will be conducted in two phases. Amenities of the hotel include 30 meeting rooms, four ballrooms, a lobby lounge and a salon for evening entertainment.

Phase I, slated for completion in May 2001, will include the lobby, restaurant, bar, guest rooms in the North Tower and the hotel’s exterior. Internal improvement will include extra soundproofing for guestrooms, rebuilding the hotel’s elevator banks and enhancing the building’s energy efficiency.

The building’s North and South Towers will eventually have one grand entrance. The lobby will be enlarged and reconfigured. The new space this creates will include a four-story rotunda, 45-ft. in diameter with cast bronze ornamentation. A focal point will be a custom designed onyx mosaic floor complimented by a grand staircase.

The Amber restaurant will close during the renovation. Plans call for the restaurant to reopen in June 2001. The restaurant will be transformed into a two-story structure. A stone staircase will cut through an oval opening in the ceiling. Its second floor room will increase the restaurant’s seating capacity and will overlook Michigan Avenue. Studio Gaia of New York will lead the renovation of the restaurant. Ilan Waisbrod and Anurag Nema head the design team.

Phase II will begin in December 2001. During that time, the 346-rooms in the South Tower, originally built in 1929 as the Medinah Men’s Athletic Club, will undergo restoration.

Lead architectural firm for the project is the Gensler Group, based here in Chicago, with Harry Weese Associates as associate architects. Bob Wheatley of Gensler will serve as project design director. Deborah Mace is project director. Intra Spec Inc., based in Marina del Rey, CA, is responsible for the redesign of the guestrooms. Susan Caruso, Intra Spec president, is lead designer.

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