Magnet pictures an advertisement from the 1950s when today's Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, a Sage Hospitality-Marriott property, was known simply as "The Blackstone" and was owned by Sheraton. Today Sheraton is part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts that is soon to merge with Marriott so the Blackstone's former mother will become its sister.
Located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Balbo St. in Chicago, the 21-story Blackstone was designed by Marshall and Fox for John Drake, founder of the Drake Hotel. It was named after one of Drake's business associates, president of the Union Stock Yards and the Chicago-Alton Railroad, Timothy Blackstone. Construction was completed in 1910. Drake lost his hotel empire during the Depression but the Blackstone found a new owner and was in operation in time for the 1933 Century of Progress worlds fair.
The Blackstone is interwoven with over a century of Chicago and American history. Chicago has hosted more US presidential conventions than any other city in the country - more than any two other cities, in fact. In the process, over a dozen US Presidents have stayed at the Blackstone.
The structure went through fiscal ups and downs for several decades but found a loving parent in 2005 in the form of Sage-Marriott who purchased the structure for $22 million and invested another $90 million in rennovations.