This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.
|Palmer House Hotel|
The Palmer House Hotel
|Location||17 East Monroe Street Chicago, Illinois|
|Architect||John M. Van Osdel (2nd)|
Holabird & Roche (current)
|Designated||December 13, 2006|
The Palmer House Hilton is a historic hotel in Chicago in the city's Loop area. Currently operating as the Palmer House - A Hilton Hotel, it is a Historic Hotels of America member, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Palmer House was the city's first hotel with elevators and the first hotel with electric light bulbs and telephones in the guest rooms. It has also been dubbed the longest continuously operating hotel in North America.
Three Palmer House hotels have been located at the corner of State and Monroe streets in Chicago.
The first (known as "The Palmer") was built as a wedding present from Potter Palmer to his bride Bertha Honoré. It opened on September 26, 1871, but burned down just 13 days later on October 9, 1871 in the Great Chicago Fire. Palmer immediately set to work rebuilding, and with a $1.7 million signature loan (believed to be the largest individual loan ever secured at that time), constructed one of the fanciest hotels worldwide in postfire Chicago.
Designed by architect John M. Van Osdel, the second Palmer House Hotel was seven stories. Its amenities included oversized rooms, luxurious decor, and sumptuous meals served in grand style. The floor of its barber shop was tiled and silver dollars were embedded in a diamond pattern. Constructed mainly of iron and brick, the hotel was widely advertised as, "The World's Only Fire Proof Hotel." Famous visitors included presidential hopefuls James Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Ulysses S. Grant, William Jennings Bryan, and William McKinley; writers Mark Twain, L. Frank Baum, and Oscar Wilde; and actresses Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse. It was completed in 1875. An 1895 meeting at the hotel of faculty representatives from various Midwestern universities resulted in the founding of the Big Ten Conference.
By the 1920s, the business in downtown Chicago could support a much larger facility, and the Palmer Estate decided to erect a new 25-story hotel. They hired Holabird & Roche to design the building. Between 1923 and 1925, the hotel was rebuilt on the same site.
In December 1945, Conrad Hilton bought the Palmer House for $20 million and it was thereafter known as The Palmer House Hilton. In 2005, Hilton sold the property to Thor Equities, but it remains part of the Hilton chain.
The architecture firms of Loebl Schlossman & Hackl and David Fleener Architects completely renovated and restored the hotel between 2007 and 2009. The total cost was over $170 million. The hotel has a total of 1,639 guest rooms, making it the second-largest hotel in the city after the Hyatt Regency Chicago. It has recently had its name adjusted to Palmer House - A Hilton Hotel.
Chocolate brownie, invented at the hotel.
It opened as The Palmer, at the northwest corner of State and Quincy streets, with 225 rooms on September 26, 1871. Thirteen days later, it burned in the Great Chicago Fire.
Thor Equities ...said it had bought the Palmer House Hilton...