Reporting Mike Parker
UPDATED: 8/27/2013 10:05 a.m.
(CBS) – A big, purple piece of Chicago-area history is meeting the wrecking ball
The infamous “purple hotel” in Lincolnwood was being demolished on Tuesday. The once-swanky purple pad is now a shadow of its former self, CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.
When the crane and wrecking ball are done, a new hotel and some upscale stores and restaurants will replace the decaying old structure. The mayor of Lincolnwood recalls its glory days.
“This was a very lovely hotel,” Jerry Turry says.
Built in 1962, it began as a Hyatt owned by the Pritzker family. There were weddings and bar mitzvahs here. But in 1983, it began its decline.
Teamsters union consultant Allen Dorfman was gunned down in a mob hit here.
“They got out of their vehicle in the parking lot there and they were approached by two men. Dorfman was fatally shot in the head with a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol,” former CBS 2 reporter John “Bulldog” Drummond recalls.
Turry says it’s unfortunate the bad memories linger.
“Of all the wonderful things that happened here and the fine families that had entertainment here and weddings and bar mitzvahs and you name it … they remember the Dorfman issue and Levine and everything else that’s bad,” he says.
Levine — that would be convicted political fixer Stuart Levine. He admitted staging “drug-fueled sex parties” at the hotel shortly before it closed in 2007.
Some people believe this soon-to-be-destroyed place is haunted. Anyone surprised?
Mark and Susan Rothschild were married there in 1975, when it was called the Purple Hyatt.
They came to the site on Tuesday to reflect on their memories there.
“It was a great place,” said Susan Rothschild. “It was beautiful. They had conventions here, parties here. It was a big draw from the city.”