This former office building was designed soon after the Chicago Tribune Tower competition of 1922, for which the winning entry, along with the earlier Woolworth Tower in New York, made Gothic detailing for skyscrapers popular. Although the design follows a tripartite definition of base, shaft, and top, in the manner of Louis Sullivan’s high-rises, its continuous vertical piers, Tudor arches, and Gothic pinnacles and tracery emphasize the height of the eighteen-story building, as was intended. The ground floor is faced with polished red granite, while off-white glazed tile from the American Terra Cotta Company in Illinois is used two stories above it. The middle section consists of pinkish-colored brick piers and green spandrels which, in 1999 when the conversion of the structure into a hotel commenced, were painted to match the tile–a reversal of the architects’ intention to emphasize verticality and structure through subtle combinations of materials and color. The tower has a Gothic-patterned, glazed-tile cornice. An entrance and a lobby for the hotel were completed in 2001, with marble floors and detailing in ceramic tile, wood, and chrome that re-create a 1920s ambience.
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Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel (Père Marquette Building)
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