InterContinental Chicago Exhibit Showcases Unique Spot on Mag Mile

One of Chicago’s most famous hotels on the Magnificent Mile, the InterContinental has long been known for its architectural beauty, and it’s been a magnet for historians and tourists for nearly a century.

Recently, Walter Ingstrup, the grandson of InterContinental designer Ove Waldemar Ingstrup, got to see the building for the very first time, and he was struck by how the hotel has maintained the historic touches and elements that his grandfather put into the property when it was built.

“I thought the building was lost to history,” he said. “The decorative history, the gold leaf, the striping and the murals. I thought after all these years they were probably mostly painted over.”

The historic elements of the building are still very much in place, and architectural enthusiasts and historians are thrilled that they remain.

“I came to appreciate the architecture and all the beautiful design elements throughout the building that I was able to see when I first came here, and I wondered who the mad genius was that conceived this architecture and who designed the interior,” historian Paul Scheelen said.

The duo toured the building together recently, and Ingstrup came away feeling a lot closer to the grandfather that gave Chicago one of its most beautiful treasures.

“I felt privilege to know my grandfather at that point, and was surprised at the amount of detail that was put into this,” he said.

Scheelen felt the same way, lauding the building’s attention to detail and reveling in the ability to give Ingstrup such an up-close-and-personal look at the hotel that his grandfather designed.

“I felt it would bring Walt closer to his grandfather,” he said. “To stand where his grandfather did today and look out upon the city with a sense of pride and accomplishment in building one of the great hotels of the world.” 

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