Famed Chicago real state developer Potter Palmer gave his bride, Bertha, one of the best wedding presents in history. He built her a hotel, three times! Palmer owned a large quantity of land on State Street, which continues to be a central retail area of the Loop.
The first incarnation of the Palmer House Hotel was finished less than two weeks before the 1871 Chicago fire and was completely destroyed. Armed with a $1.7 million dollar loan, the largest ever made to an individual at the time, Palmer quickly rebuilt his extravagant gift to his bride. He upped the ante by constructing the final incarnation of the hotel in 1875.
Just two blocks from Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, and the Art Institute, the centrally located Palmer House is billed as the “hotel that love built.” It shows. The architectural and design details are extraordinary. I have had the luxury of staying in this magnificent work of art, seeing it’s million dollar doors, and I want to share a few of my favorite details with you.
|The 1923 edition was designed by Holabird and Roche (now Holabird and Root). They constructed the new hotel as they deconstructed the 1873 version, without having to close for a single day. That was quite a feat, considering that the Plaza Hotel in New York closed for nearly three years for a renovation!|
|This is the ceiling of the ultra-luxe, extremely ornate Empire Room. One of the city’s most popular wedding venues, the hotel continues to function as Palmer intended: a place where love is shared with friends and family.|
Learn more about the Palmer House Hilton and make reservations for your next visit to Chicago here. I highly recommend a long weekend in September or October. Chicago is so beautiful then!