Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America®, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest historic hotels across America. Known for his significant role in the development of Chicago's celebrated State Street, prominent businessman Potter Palmer was introduced to socialite and philanthropist Bertha Honore by former partner Marshall Field. The crown jewel in the holdings of department store mogul turned real-estate developer Potter Palmer, it was a wedding present to his wife, Bertha. In 1933, the Empire Dining Room of Palmer House was converted into an entertainment epicenter and supper club. Palmer House 1871 (left), Palmer House 1875 (center) and Palmer House 1925 (right) seen in the mural of Potter’s restaurant at Palmer House. The original Palmer House was built in 1871 by Potter Palmer who began his career as a bank clerk in upstate New York. The Palmer house is located within close proximity to many of the Gold Coast's esteemed establishments, such as the Art Institute, Grant Park, Millennium Park, and Navy Pier. © 2020 Chicago History Museum. Yet despite its well-documented and storied history, the hotel managed to … This ornate headboard (1873) on the right was part of a bridal suite in the second Palmer House. Made of ebonized and gilded black walnut in a Renaissance style, the headboard was surmounted by a French-style canopy. It was made by W. W. Strong Furniture Co., Chicago’s premier furniture dealer and manufacturer of the 1870s. Nearly as iconic an American dessert as the chocolate-chip cookie, the brownie was created in 1893 at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago’s Loop. Thanks to QuestionPro for providing us free survey templates for running multiple types of surveys. Hotel History: Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois* The original Palmer House was built in 1871 by Potter Palmer who began his career as a bank clerk in upstate New York. A recent tour of Palmer House Hilton, the oldest hotel in Chicago, delivered on all three. In recent years the historic Chicago hotel, Palmer House has undergone a $170 million renovation to ensure that it includes all of the conveniences and comforts our 21st century guests expect while also preserving our significant history. Like many Chicago buildings in the late nineteenth century, the Palmer House claimed to be fireproof. As with many luxury hotels, the Palmer House boasted a grand lobby, monumental staircases, bridal suites, dining rooms, ballrooms, a bar, and a barbershop. Hotel History: Palmer House®, A Hilton Hotel (1871), Chicago, Illinois* By Stanley Turkel, CMHS. If, that is, you wanted to impress someone of discerning taste. The Hilton website states the hotel opened November 1873 and Chicago History Museum has 1875 date.] CHM, ICHi-038783, An undated postcard of the third Palmer House Hotel, Chicago. By the turn of the century, the Palmer House had become Chicago’s liveliest social center, hosting a long list of prominent figures—including those ranging from U.S. presidents to Charles Dickens to Oscar Wilde. Throughout its three incarnations, the Palmer House Hotel was the pinnacle of grandeur and luxury in Chicago and was for More It is run by Ken Price, the director of public relations at the historic hotel. On November 8, 1873, the new Palmer House welcomed its first guests, marking the opening of what would become the nation’s longest continually operating hotel. DN-0001231, Chicago Sun-Times/Chicago Daily News collection, CHM. In recent years the historic Chicago hotel, Palmer House has undergone a $170 million renovation to ensure that it includes all of the conveniences and comforts our 21st century guests expect while also preserving our significant history. CHM, ICHi-080559; Raymond W. Trowbridge, photographer, An eager crowd at the Palmer House Bar waits to be served upon the repeal of Prohibition, Chicago, 1934. CHM, ICHi-069676; J. W. Taylor, photographer. Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved Hilton. Required fields are marked *. Our Hotel. The Palmers’ own house, the largest ever built in Chicago, was designed by Cobb & Frost, and although originally budgeted at “just” $90,000, cost more than a million dollars by the time it was finished three years after construction began. CHM, ICHi-069672. He later became a dry-goods store owner in CHICAGO – I travel for stories that local people, buildings, and food have to share. The fresco was described by columnist George Will as “a wonderful protest of romance against the everydayness of life.”. In light of the recent news that the Palmer House Hotel faces a $338 million foreclosure suit, CHM staff members take a look back at its three iterations. We have a soft spot for history tours, especially when they start and end at gilded 19th-century hotels. Hotel History: Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois* The original Palmer House was built in 1871 by Potter Palmer who began his career as a bank clerk in upstate New York. It was like stepping back into the past. But that didn’t deter Potter. While its hotel rooms are standard upscale fare, the Palmer House’s palatial lobby, conceived as a European drawing room, remains one of the most magnificent in the world. The Empire Room at the Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, c. June 4–8, 1936. Your email address will not be published. Determined to rebuild his hotel, Potter secured a $1.7 million loan–negotiated on his signature alone. The history of Palmer House ®, A Hilton Hotel begins as a true love story.. Lane unfurled the flag stowed in his back pack after a grueling seven-day ordeal in sub zero weather ascending to the pinnacle of the 19,300 ft mountain --- a total of 57 vertical miles. The crown jewel in the holdings of department store mogul turned real-estate developer Potter Palmer, the first Palmer House, with 225 rooms, opened in September 1870. Celebrating nearly 150 years, Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a Chicago landmark designated by the Chicago Landmarks Commission. With 225 rooms, its furnishings alone cost $100,000, or half the construction cost. Dean Lane, General Manager of Chicago’s historic Palmer House made history himself by being the first to fly the HILTON flag at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The hotel today has 23 guest floors. We stopped by the hotel during our quick trip to Chicago in 2017 and had a drink at the lobby bar. It aids in strengthening our nonprofit family. Learn more about our history and stay with us at “the Chicago Hotel the world knows best”. Holabird & Roche were the architects who designed the hotel in 1925-27, which, according to the plaque, was the world’s largest hotel at the time. Lucius Beebe, gourmand, author and journalist, included references to The Pump Room in some of his books and articles.Arturo Petterino (1920–2010) was its maitre d' for many years, steering celebrity patrons to the coveted Booth One. In 1933, Palmer House converted its Empire Dining Room into an entertainment venue and supper club. The Palmer House Hilton. Now in its fourth incarnation, the Palmer House hotel was long the pinnacle of grandeur and luxury in Chicago and was for decades the hotel of choice for visiting presidents, dignitaries, and businesspeople. It's first-floor lobby area is quite interesting with many shops, and the mezzanine guests registration area includes a welcoming social area. Potter Palmer was an important Chicago businessman (click the Wikipedia link if you want to go off on an historical tangent.) [Notes: Wikipedia states Palmer House was a 25-story building. The First Palmer House (1870) On September 26, 1870, the first Palmer House opened for business at State and Monroe Streets. The ladies’ entrance to the Palmer House hotel, which can be seen in the lower left corner of the albumen print, Chicago, September 19, 1903. The Palmer House Hotel was long the pinnacle of grandeur and luxury in Chicago and was for decades the hotel of choice for visiting presidents, dignitaries, and businesspeople. An engraving entitled “Working at Night on Palmer’s Grand Hotel, by Calcium Light,” 1871. Potter Palmer was a Chicago business magnate—well-known for a variety of endeavors, including his significant role in the development of downtown Chicago’s iconic State Street. Three Palmer House hotels have been located at the corner of State and Monroe streets in Chicago. While Hilton still operates the Palmer House under a management contract, it has no ownership in the actual building after selling it to Thor Equities in 2005 for $230 million. A timeless Chicago hotel, Palmer House offers historic charm with hip conveniences, comprehensive amenities, award-winning dining and gracious service. Get updates on what’s happening at the Chicago History Museum from exhibitions and programs to special events and more. Clearly “the Chicago hotel the world knows best” has positioned itself for the next era in downtown Chicago accommodations–and the next generation of Palmer House Hilton with a hip and historic outlook. Palmer House Hotel is a hotel in the Loop district of Chicago and an official Chicago Landmark with a plaque. Thirteen days after opening its doors, The Palmer House went up in flames with hundreds of other buildings in The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Palmer House Hotel faces a $338 million foreclosure suit, Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. All Rights Reserved. The second-largest Chicago hotel, the Palmer House at 17 E. Monroe St. depends on conventions and business travel that have largely dried up during the struggle to contain COVID-19. Eclipsed in the 1980s by posh hotels on North Michigan Avenue closer to fine shopping, the Palmer House—a part of the Hilton Hotel chain since 1945—continued to attract guests because of its proximity to the Loop business district, the Art Institute of Chicago, and downtown theaters. The Palmer House opened on September 26, 1871 to rave reviews of both the service and the owners, who were becoming the country’s first celebrity power couple. History is Hott Lunch & Tour: Palmer House History is Hott Tour - See 23 traveler reviews, 25 candid photos, and great deals for Chicago, IL, at Tripadvisor. An additional Palmer House was under construction nearby, but both structures were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. (Chicago History Museum) Palmer was again away from the city when the Chicago … Designed by the firm Holabird & Roche and built during 1923–25, its twenty-five stories housed 2,268 rooms and for a very short time held the record as the world’s largest hotel. Courtesy of Flickr/Counselman Collection The most legendary hotel in Chicago history has closed its doors. Book on Hilton.com and save. On September 26, 1870, the Palmer House Hotel opened for business. The resulting seven-story, $13 million hotel designed by architect John M. Van Osdel opened on November 8, 1873, marking the start of what became known as the nation’s longest continually operating hotel. As the Palmer House faces an uncertain future, we take a look at its history. The Palmer House not only served transient visitors but also appealed to wealthy permanent residents who found in the palace hotel a convenient way to set up trouble-free, elegant households. HB-05894-M, CHM, Hedrich-Blessing Collection. An introduction by Potter’s former business partner, Marshall Field, sparked a romance—and eventual engagement—between Potter and Bertha that led to perhaps one of the most extravagant wedding gifts of all time – Palmer House. However, only 13 days after its grand opening, the Palmer House fell victim to the Great Chicago Fire. An albumen print of the second Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, c. 1885. The barbershop at the Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, c. 1930. Yet, like the mythological phoenix, the Palmer House rose from its ashes. The crown jewel in the holdings of department store mogul turned real-estate developer Potter Palmer, it was a wedding present to his wife, Bertha. It was a grand Chicago Hotel—one destined to take its place among the most luxurious hotels in Chicago and beyond. Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved Hilton, Copyright © 2015 All rights reserved Hilton Worldwide. He later became a dry-goods store owner in Chicago … View of the Great Hall Lobby from the Empire Room at the Palmer House, Chicago, 1925. My Latest Book: "Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt and Oscar of the Waldorf" By Stanley Turkel, CMHS 1. HB-03386-C, CHM, Hedrich-Blessing Collection. Oozing Chicago history: Palmer House A Hilton Hotel - See 11,071 traveller reviews, 3,837 photos, and cheap deals for Palmer House A Hilton Hotel at Tripadvisor. It hosted legendary entertainers, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Louis Armstrong, and Liberace. Disaster-Proofing in the Gilded Age. The crown jewel in the holdings of department store mogul turned real-estate developer Potter Palmer , it was a wedding present to his wife, Bertha. Chicago's Palmer House Hilton is in foreclosure, ... A lithograph of the Palmer House Hotel, circa 1873. Palmer House A Hilton Hotel: History and Splendor in Chicago - See 11,071 traveler reviews, 3,837 candid photos, and great deals for Palmer House A Hilton Hotel at Tripadvisor. A stereograph of the Palmer House ruins after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.