Portman, John Calvin, Jr.

Portman, John Calvin, Jr., 1924–2017, American architect and developer, b. Walhalla, S.C., grad. Georgia Institute of Technology (1950). In the 1960s and 70s, he radically changed the look of the hotel, introducing huge atriums overlooked by cantilevered balconies, replete with hanging plants, glass capsule elevators, fountains and waterfalls, spiral staircases, and other features that became common in contemporary hotels. His skyscraping hotels, shopping centers, and office complexes altered skylines and redefined urban landscapes. The Peachtree Center, a 14-block miniature city within Atlanta which includes the Hyatt Regency Hotel (1967) with a 22-story atrium lobby and a rotating restaurant on top, is his best-known 1960s work. He designed the Embarcadero Center, San Francisco (1976, 1988); the Renaissance Center, Detroit (1977), and the Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles (1977), as well as hotels, retail centers, and towering office buildings elsewhere in the United States and the world.

See his An Island on an Island (1997) and Form (2010); John Portman: Art and Architecture (museum catalog, 2009); studies by P. Riani (1991), C. Rice (2016) and M. Mostasfavi (2017).

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