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McCormick Place History

- Jan 10, 2018 -


McCormick Place History


McCormick Place is named in honor of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, a controversial and charismatic visionary who served as editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It was Colonel McCormick who spearheaded the drive to build a world-class convention center in the city of Chicago.


Under Colonel McCormick's leadership, the state endorsed construction of a permanent exhibition hall to host conventions and trade shows. Col. McCormick never lived to see his dream become a reality. The facility bearing his name opened in 1960, five years after his death.


2010-Present


McCormick Place is named in honor of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, a controversial and charismatic visionary who served as editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It was Colonel McCormick who spearheaded the drive to build a world-class convention center in the city of Chicago.


Under Colonel McCormick's leadership, the state endorsed construction of a permanent exhibition hall to host conventions and trade shows. Col. McCormick never lived to see his dream become a reality. The facility bearing his name opened in 1960, five years after his death.



2010

• In May, the Illinois General Assembly approves bold and historic legislation to reform labor rules, establish exhibitor rights and realign McCormick Place operations with its major competitors in the convention and trade show industries. The legislation contains the core reforms introduced in January by MPEA officials, the Illinois Governor, and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.


2011

• April – MPEA selects the private convention venue management first, SMG, to run the daily operations of McCormick Place, starting July 1, 2011. SMG is a recognized world leader in convention center management, running more than 220 municipal and private venues in nine countries, including Chicago's Soldier Field. The selection of a private management firm is a key component of the historic reforms enacted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2010 to streamline operations and lower costs for McCormick Place customers.

• July – MPEA announces the selection of Savor as the new food-service management company for McCormick Place. Savor has been in business for more than 25 years and is focused on providing a high quality culinary experience with impeccable service. 

• July – MPEA selects CBG Hotel Design-Builders as the design-build team for the expansion of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel. The scope of the project includes a new 462-room guest tower that will rise atop the Hyatt McCormick's parking deck, plus renovation of the existing 800-room Hyatt hotel and the adjacent Conference Center. The completion date is the latter half of 2013.

• October – MPEA and the labor organizations that represent the McCormick Place workforce reach a settlement on a lawsuit challenging the MPEA's authority to implement work rule reforms outlined in the May 2010 legislation approved by the Illinois General Assembly. The work rules that show organizers and exhibitors had enjoyed with the passage of the McCormick Place reform legislation on 2010 are now fully restored , effective, November 1, 2011. McCormick Place is now aligned with its major competitors in the convention and trade show industries and is the most customer-friendly destination in the country.


2012

• May – McCormick Place was the venue chosen for the NATO Summit on May 21-22, 2012. The McCormick Place team rose to the occasion to host this world-class event at the nation's largest convention center. Leaders from around the world gathered at this important diplomatic summit hosted by President Barack Obama. There were approx. 2,000 journalists on-site to chronicle this historic event. This summit was the largest gathering of world leaders in the United States at one time since the formation of the United Nations after World War II. Additionally, this was the first summit in the United States hosted by a city other than Washington, D.C. 

• June – A historic agreement is made between McCormick Place, Navy Pier, MPEA, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 134, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 2. This agreement allows IATSE stagehands to complete a type of work previously completed by IBEW electricians. This announcement further solidifies McCormick Place's competitive standing in the industry and strengthens Chicago's ability to attract corporate and association business.

• November – McCormick Place was the site of President Barack Obama's Election Night Rally on Nov. 6, 2012. The McCormick Place team played an integral role in hosting this historic event at the Lakeside Center where more than 12,000 supporters came to watch the 44th President win re-election to his second term as the President of the United States. 


2013

• February – MPEA announces the development of a 1,200 room headquarters hotel to be built adjacent to McCormick Place. The new hotel will provide the facilities and amenities required to serve as the headquarters for groups holding shows at McCormick Place. The new hotel will play a major role in the revitalization of the neighborhood surrounding McCormick Place. 

• April – McCormick Place becomes the largest convention center in North America to be certified with a new sustainability standard. McCormick Place achieved the Level One Certification with the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows and Conferences.

• May – McCormick Place officials announce that the largest convention center in North America has committed to offsetting 100 percent of its electricity usage with clean, affordable wind energy.

• May – The McCormick Place Entertainment District was unveiled by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and MPEA officials as part of a larger announcement of Elevate Chicago, a new tourism and tradeshow infrastructure program. The McCormick Place Entertainment District will include a 10,000 seat event center, dining and entertainment venues, hotels including a 1,200 room headquarters hotel and streetscapes. The event center will serve as a general session hall for convention and trade shows, a venue for concerts and special event and the home court for DePaul's men's and women's basketball. The building will be linked to the McCormick Place West by a pedestrian sky bridge.

• June – The MPEA unveils the completed the $110 million expansion and renovation of the Hyatt McCormick Place, a 1,262 room hotel on the convention campus with new meeting and public spaces and upgraded amenities. The hotel is now the fourth largest in Chicago. 

• September – The MPEA announces the selection of Marriott International, Inc. as operator of the planned 1,200-room headquarters hotel adjacent to McCormick Place. The hotel, will be operated as a Marriott Marquis, the company's premier convention center hotel brand. The new Chicago hotel will be the only Marriott Marquis in the Metropolitan Chicago area.


2014

• February – The MPEA announces the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place expansion has been awarded LEED® Gold certification. It is among the first hotels to achieve the LEED Gold certification in Illinois and the Midwest. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. 


2015

• July – The MPEA along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Marriott officials and city and state officials break ground on the Marriott Marquis Chicago. The 1,206 room hotel is located on the McCormick Placecampus and along with the existing 1,258 Hyatt McCormick Place, further enhances Chicago's position with the concentration of a substantial number of hotel rooms that offers the option of on-siteconvenience for attendees. The new 40-story hotel will be the only Marriott Marquis in the Metropolitan Chicago area and will include the renovation of the historic American Book Company. The hotel will also include specialty suites as well as 90,000 square feet of meeting room space which includes two 25,000 square-foot ballrooms, a great room style restaurant and as well as a Marketplace food court. The Marriott Marquis Chicago will be a key marketing asset for the city and ensure that the McCormick Place campus achieves its full potential as a major economic engine for Chicago and Illinois. The project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

• November – The MPEA along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, DePaul officials and city and state officials break ground on the 10,000-seat McCormick Place Event Center. The Event Center with its contemporary architectural design will have the capacity to host general sessions for conventions and trade shows, concerts and other special events, as well as serve as the home court for DePaul University's women's and men's basketball teams. The McCormick Place Event Center is a key component of the MPEA's expanded portfolio that will further enhance Chicago's competitiveness in the convention and trade show industry and act as a major economic engine for Chicago and Illinois. The Event Center will be constructed by the MPEA and DePaul University and is scheduled for completion in 2017.


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