John Portman Remembered

Innovative architect and developer passes away

Boutique Design
John Portman | The Portman Archives, LLC

John Portman. Photo: Courtesy of The Portman Archives, LLC


John C. Portman Jr., an influential architect, real estate developer, entrepreneur, artist and altruist, died Dec. 30 at the age of 93. Portman and his firm had a major impact on his home city of Atlanta, and also changed the skylines of numerous cities around the world. He is perhaps best known for his design of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, which opened in 1967 with a then-revolutionary atrium.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta | Atrium | The Portman Archives, LLC

The elevator core within the sculptural atrium of The Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Photo: Courtesy of The Portman Archives, LLC

“By carefully rethinking the typical urban hotel, Portman readdressed the guest experience to create the antithesis of the confining environment of traditional city hotels,” the firm’s tribute to Portman notes. “The Hyatt Regency Atlanta was constructed around a 22-story, sky-lit atrium with glass cabbed elevators providing an experiential journey through the atrium to a revolving roof-top restaurant.”

To see the firm’s tribute to Portman and his accomplishments in its entirety, go to