The original mid-20th century project, called Court House Square, consisted of four buildings and was to be the first major development in any American city to combine a hotel, department store, parking lot, and public space. Planning began in 1954 and the 22-story hotel was completed in 1960. The American Institute of Architects recognized the hotel with its 1961 National Honor Award.
The block-long building is a pioneering venture in procast concrete, reflecting Pei's philosophy that a building should come from the earth. Featuring an international style, the hotel is strongly influenced by Le Corbusier's Unite D'Habitation in Marseilles, France.
Today, the hotel is comprised of the Plaza Tower and the IM Pei Tower, connected by a Sky Bridge, as well as on the concourse level.