Carbide and Carbon Building

Mostly I just wanted an excuse to post this composite photograph. Betcha can’t spot where I spliced ’em together!

Carbide & Carbon Building

The Carbide and Carbon Building went up in 1929 to the designs of Daniel and Hubert Burnham (sons of the famous city planner). It represents the absolute pinnacle of Jazz Age elegance. Its materials are sumptuously rich, its ornament lavish, its design stylishly geometric, its massing in harmony with the spirit of the age (not to mention the zoning codes.)

Carbide and Carbon Building

Carbide & Carbon, up close

Carbide and Carbon Building

Carbide and Carbon Building

Carbide and Carbon Building

If you’ve never been inside, do so. The public spaces aren’t huge, but they are as stylish as the outside.

Carbide and Carbon Building

Carbide and Carbon Building

The building was originally office space and display areas for Union Carbide. It was converted to a Hard Rock Hotel in 2004, meaning the lobbies are essentially public space. Feel free to wander in! There are no pubic spaces on the upper floors, sadly, though one group of upper-floor suites does have an entry foyer dressed up as a sort of medieval monastery.

But it’s no substitute for an observation deck. Imagine what it must be like to go up in the lantern!

Carbide and Carbon Building

3 thoughts on “Carbide and Carbon Building

  1. I have a blog that’s similar in theme and I just wrote my own post about the Carbon and Carbide building. Your entry about it was helpful in my writing and I love your pictures! Are you from Milwaukee? I’m from Milwaukee and have been living here for about 3 years now. I like your entry about the new condos on Commerce Street. I’ve always thought the modernist architecture down there was really interesting and bold, and a good thing for the city.

  2. Wow, stunning shots of a stunning bldg. I was in Chicago for the first time last weekend and was absolutely blown away by the architecture. Saw the C & C bldg quickly at night and vowed to check further. The gorgeous green was not evident at night. Thanks!

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