Carbide & Carbon Building

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The top of the Carbide & Carbon Building

The Carbide & Carbon Building is a Chicago landmark located at 230 N. Michigan Avenue. The building, which was built in 1929, is an example of Art Deco architecture designed by Daniel and Hubert Burnham, sons of architect Daniel Burnham, and was designated a Chicago Landmark on May 9, 1996. Originally built as a high-rise office tower, the Carbide & Carbon Building was converted in 2004 to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The building has 37 floors and is 503 feet (153 m) tall.

Left: Michigan Avenue Bridge traffic (Background includes 333 North Michigan, Carbide & Carbon Building, London Guarantee Building, Mather Tower & 35 East Wacker.) (2007-07-01) Center: 1951 view. Right: The Carbide & Carbon Building behind 333 North Michigan

The exterior of the building is covered in polished black granite, and the tower is dark green terra cotta with gold leaf accents. The use of stylized representations of leaves on the building's exterior was an intentional reference by the architects to the prehistoric origins of subterranean carbon deposits in the decay of ancient plants.[1] According to popular legend, architects Daniel and Hubert Burnham designed the building to resemble a dark green champagne bottle with gold foil.[citation needed] Beginning on November 16, 2007, the gold-leaf tower was permanently illuminated at night.[2] The design of the building has been compared to the American Radiator Building in New York City.[3]

The ground floor was originally designed to display products of the Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation's subsidiaries whose offices were in the building. The lobby features art deco bronzework and black Belgian Marble.

The top of the building was the filming location for an opening shooting scene in the 2008 film Wanted starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and Angelina Jolie.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schulze, Franz & Harrington, Kevin (2003). Chicago's Famous Buildings (5th ed.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 40. ISBN 0-226-74066-8.
  2. ^ "A toast to the skyline". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Company). 2007-11-16. pp. 2:3. 
  3. ^ Wolfe, Gerard R. (1996). Chicago: In and Around the Loop. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 210. ISBN 0-07-071390-1. 
  4. ^ Source original DVD from 3:25 to 6:24 minute marks.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°53′12″N 87°37′30″W / 41.8866°N 87.6249°W / 41.8866; -87.6249