Located two blocks from the Capitol, the Hyatt Regency Hotel defied the tendency of hotels to locate in the far Northwest Quadrant or in the suburbs. The Hyatt Corporation saw in the empty lots and time-worn buildings an opportunity to provide services and hotel accommodations for lobbyists, industry representatives, and tourists who wished to be close to Capitol Hill. Within a decade and a half, the Hyatt was part of a larger area of rebuilding emanating from the massive Union Station project, a trend that saw the rehabilitation of older hotels nearby.
The major design difficulty was the reconciliation of the Hyatt trademark of a vast open lobby with Washington's height limitation and building codes. The architects therefore designed a sloping five-story lobby roof angled sharply downward, supported by a complex web of steel girders and trusses. The result was a compromise lightwell that is defined by the sides of the interior court and a 130-foot long bridge at the ninth and tenth floors. The exterior is clad with a tan brick punctuated by bronze-framed windows. A rooftop restaurant offers an oblique view of the Capitol.