WHAT WAS, IS ~ The Palmer House

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The Palmer House is 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. In October 2006, the Palmer House was named a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels of America (HHA) for faithfully maintaining its historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.

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Comments (80)

MAPP HUDRANS on September 29, 2013

Beautiful place, perfect shot, YSL!

Best regards, Magdalena

wmr36104 on September 30, 2013

An excellent capture. Congratulations. Greetings. L+F.

~Marlene~ on September 30, 2013

Maggie... Ángeles... RNLatvian... Viktor... franco... Uwe... Magdalena... and... wmr36104...

My thanks to each of you for the wonderful comments, the Likes and lovely Y*s. I am very pleased & honored & appreciate it very much!

Best wishes, Marlene

danimero on October 1, 2013

Very elegant hall, fabulous capture


Best wishes, Daniel

Omar Gobbi on October 2, 2013

Excellent picture, very beautiful photographic work , < FAV & LIKE> , best regards , " Omar "

~Marlene~ on October 3, 2013

Daniel... and... Omar...

Thank you both so much for the lovely comments and the Likes. I appreciate it very much! Extra thanks, Omar, for the special Y*... I am honored!

Best wishes, Marlene

NewerMan Man on October 3, 2013

Very beautiful photo. Very nice shot. LIKE. All my best wishes, Manup.

~Marlene~ on October 4, 2013

Thank you so much, Manup, for the lovely comment and the Like. I appreciate it very much!

Best wishes, Marlene

Jesus Miguel Ballero… on October 4, 2013

un lugar precioso

fantastica la luz

una foto hermosa


Jan Sognnes on October 4, 2013

Fantastic interior view! Very interesting informations!

Have a nice weekend


Greetings, Jan

mfp on October 5, 2013

Hello Marlene,
it is an excellent interior view! Great shot! Like 61

Best wishes, Florian

Stathis Chionidis on October 5, 2013

Fantastic interior, strong view and details.YS+LIKE.Best wishes.Stathis

~Marlene~ on October 6, 2013

Jesus... Jan... Florian... and... Stathis...

Thank you all again for the very nice comments and the Likes. Both are much appreciated! Special thanks, Stathis, for the lovely Y*... I am honored!

Best wishes, Marlene

Rainer Kaelcke on October 6, 2013

looks like a place for the super rich people - nevertheless it is very nice and interesting shot! L. ff

~Marlene~ on October 7, 2013

Not necessarily, fotofax... it is a Hilton Hotel, after all, & far less expensive than the new luxury hotels in Chicago. It does have something they don't have though... great history! I'm happy you Like it!

Best wishes, Marlene

Det Lindinger on October 12, 2013

Nobel, nobel...sieht richtig elegant aus !

Gut gesehen und gemacht Marlene ......like & Fav

Beste Grüße Det!

~Marlene~ on October 13, 2013

Thank you again, Det, for the great comment and the Like. I'm honored by the Y*!

Best wishes, Marlene

Zsuzsanna Bánfalvi on October 18, 2013

Beautiful interior view .

I love it! My friendly greeting ,Natuska

~Marlene~ on October 21, 2013

Many thanks, Natuska... I'm happy you Like it!

Best wishes, Marlene

~Marlene~ on November 21, 2013

Thank you again, Thierry, for the lovely comment and the YSL… I am honored! This was not Capone's favorite hotel, Thierry. His headquarters was at the, then called, Lexington Hotel. It was probably a little too high profile for him!

Best wishes, Marlene

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 22, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by ~Marlene~
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
    • Taken on 2013/08/03 16:15:42