This spiral staircase is located inside the Palmer House, a famous and historic hotel in Chicago in the city's Loop area. It currently operates under the full name Palmer House - A Hilton Hotel. Three Palmer House hotels have been sited 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 reputedly tiled with silver dollars. 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. 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 stages so that not a single day of business was lost. At the time, it was touted as the largest hotel in the world. In December 1945, Conrad Hilton bought the Palmer House for $20 million and it was thereafter known as The Palmer House Hilton. In 2005, it was sold to Thor Equities, but it remains part of the Hilton chain. From 2007 to 2009, the hotel was completely renovated and restored by the architecture firm Loebl Schlossman & Hackl and the design firm Forrest Perkins. 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.
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