A Historic Magnificent Mile Hotel
Our Hotel's Long, Storied History
InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile stands as one of the most historic luxury hotels in Chicago. The building was constructed in 1929 as the Medinah Athletic Club, an exclusive men's club for members of the Shrine organization. In 1988, InterContinental Hotels purchased the property and spent 12 years, along with a quarter of a billion dollars, transforming it into the most opulent hotel on Magnificent Mile.
Renovators guided their restorations by using the Medinah Athletic Club's 1930 yearbook, The Scimitar. Entire rooms were replicated with excruciating attention, down to the detailing in draperies, carpets, and murals. Each floor of the hotel takes influences from global cultures and eras. Near the bronze doorway on Michigan Avenue, two marble columns are etched with the Shriner's greeting, "Es Salumu Aleikum," which means "Peace to God." The lobby's grand staircase also has cast-bronze friezes along the handrail from the original Medinah Athletic Club. Celtic and Mesopotamian motifs of the lion, the fish, and the eagle paint the ceilings, along with the Assyrian bull, to give the lobby a feeling of the highest natural powers.
The conference halls in our Chicago hotel maintain the grandeur of the 1920s. Our Hall of Lions also takes design influence from the Assyrians. The two original marble lions were restored using cornhusk blasting, as traditional sandblasting would have destroyed the details in the sculpture. Spanish Majolica tiles decorate marble steps and a terra-cotta fountain. In the King Arthur Court, colorful knights line the ceilings of a restored arched entranceway. The Renaissance Room depicts the extravagance of the French Renaissance, creating one of the most elegant Chicago event venues. The Grand Ballrom has an unusual elliptical shape, which has made it a prime site for Chicago's most elaborate weddings. Though the Medinah Athletic Club's original club facilities were removed, the club's junior Olympic swimming pool still remains to this day. During your stay, you can take a dip and admire the lush grandeur of the terra cotta ceiling and sculptures around the pool.
Since opening its doors, InterContinental Chicago has been the recipient of numerous awards for its architecture and design. The hotel's guests have included international dignitaries, politicians, and celebrities. We are incredibly proud of our Magnificent Mile hotel's beautiful décor and the impeccable service we match it with.
The Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is a member of Historic Hotels of America®, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels across America.