Glass beads
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First look: Inside the new Sophy Hyde Park

Amber-colored glass beads provide a translucent transition between the music-inspired lobby and the more scientific-minded bar.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
The view from a seventh-floor suite at the Sophy.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

A rock marks the spot where former President Barack Obama first kissed Michelle Obama.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)

Doors that cordon off the restaurant’s private dining area are covered with a design reminiscent of a Ferris wheel, which debuted at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, not far from the hotel’s location.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

A portrait of President Obama made of pennies hangs in the lobby of the new Sophy Hyde Park. The hotel is across the street from the spot where Barack and Michelle had their first kiss in 1989.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)

A 1,000-pound chandelier hangs from the 14-foot ceiling in the Sophy’s lobby.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)
The seven-story Sophy Hyde Park looks like it could have been retrofitted from an old warehouse or factory, but it’s a new build.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

Staff at the hotel’s restaurant, Mesler, practice before the Sept. 24, 2018, opening.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

Seating between a pair of queen beds is designed to give guests better separation.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
Columns that double as bookshelves separate dining tables in the hotel’s restaurant.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

A dining area in one of the Sophy suites has windows overlooking 53rd and Dorchester.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)
Guest rooms are designed to have a residential feel.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

Geometric shapes and symmetrical patterns can be found throughout the bar area.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

The outdoor “Sanctuary” at the Sophy has two fire pits and a gurgling water fountain to add to the tranquil vibe. It’s located on the quieter side of the property on Dorchester Avenue.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
A deluxe king at the Sophy Hyde Park.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

Some of the Sophy’s suites have soaker tubs.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

The Queen of Gospel, Chicago’s Mahalia Jackson, helped inspire the decor of the lobby.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

A literary aesthetic dominates the hotel’s restaurant, Mesler, whose name comes from a Middle French word meaning to mix and mingle.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

Aspen wood is used throughout the new hotel.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)
Every guest room has a record player and albums by musicians with ties to Chicago.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
A brass instrument-inspired lamp adds to the musical motif in the hotel lobby.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
A brass hand dish can be found in each of the Sophy’s guest rooms. It’s a nod to the fact that the room’s decor is supposed to look handcrafted and original, not mass produced.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )

The Sophy has a fitness center with weights and several exercise machines on the second floor.

 (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
Long, linear bricks lend a Prairie Style touch to the hotel’s facade, which also pays homage to the city’s industrial past.  (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune )
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