Chicago’s Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel, Celebrates 150th Anniversary

CHICAGO – After opening in 1871, Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel celebrates its 150th anniversarye anniversary on September 23 with an open house, inviting guests to explore the hotel’s collection of treasures and learn about its deep-rooted history in Chicago. The lobby will open to the public at 11:00 a.m. with a state and city proclamation and remarks by Keith Clampet, SVP Hotel Operations, Americas. Other speakers commemorating the 150th anniversary celebration include Larry Horowitz of Historic Hotels of America, as master of ceremonies, and the opening address by Alderman Brendan Reilly.

“Over the years, Palmer House, a Hilton hotel has been a pinnacle of resilience, ingenuity, a haven of inclusiveness and an institutional part of Chicago’s growth. As a hotel built on love, Palmer House remains anchored in the city of Chicago, serving as a beacon of light after a difficult year, ” said Hilton area general manager Dean Lane. “With the demise of the original building due to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, undeterred, Potter Palmer secured the largest hotel mortgage of his time and rebuilt the Second Palmer House, the first hotel in the test by fire in the world. Proving its durability over decades, Palmer House has become a hotel of many firsts, famous for being the first hotel to install the original telephone system, sometimes accommodating 2,700 calls per hour. Palmer House is the first fireproof hotel, home of the original chocolate fudge brownie, the first to use the vertical steam elevator, which would later become the elevator, the first hotel to use the electric light bulb and the very first Polaroids from the 1893 World’s Fair. We are proud to preserve the history of our hotel and are honored to share its treasures with our beloved city and our guests in honor of the hotel’s 150th anniversary.

Over the past two months, Palmer House has unveiled a brand new indoor pool after a $ 2.2 million renovation and introduced Lockwood Express, a take-out concept that includes daily pastries, Lavazza coffee, and a selection of food. hot artesians and even small batch cocktails for travelers on the go. To celebrate the anniversary, the hotel will present the Bertha Brownie Latte, a playful take on the original fudge brownie.


The story of the Palmer House in Chicago began as an extravagant wedding gift from Potter Palmer to his new bride, Bertha Honoré Palmer. Only 13 days after its official opening, The Palmer House sadly fell victim to the Great Chicago Fire, but was rebuilt on November 8, 1873, marking the opening of what would become one of the most iconic and most famous people of the country.

By the turn of the century, Palmer House had grown into Chicago’s liveliest social hub, home to a long list of eminent figures, ranging from US Presidents to Charles Dickens to Oscar Wilde. In 1933, the Empire Dining Room hosted legendary artists including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Louis Armstrong and Liberace.


While the hotel’s 1930 vinyl record collection plays, visitors to the 150th anniversary celebration are invited to embark on a visual journey through the decades, while sipping champagne to the sound of live music from the Chicago’s Teatro ZinZanni and appetizers featuring popular vintage menu items. Artifacts will be on display throughout the hotel, including the very first Polaroids from the 1893 World’s Fair; Mark Twain’s beer mug; Bertha Palmer’s album, recounting the events leading up to the 19e amendment; original employee records from 1947; the list of artists in the Empire Room with original payments for their performances, including Liberace’s registered payment of $ 900 plus one room for lodging; an original spittoon from the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 valued at over $ 250,000 and over.

The gallery of never-before-seen relics will be extended throughout the mezzanine leading to the History and Archives Museum. Exhibitions will be organized by theme, including Culinary – a menu from 1878; Entertainment – various artists who once commanded the Empire Room stage; Advertising – – over the years, from Trader Vic’s to Murder Mystery themed dinners. Bertha Palmer – exhibiting her personal collection of sewing items; and more. A lively art installation of historical archives will be displayed on the marble columns of the hotel lobby and the facade of the Empire Room via digital mapping, for a captivating 360-degree immersed experience.

Anniversary activations will include a Hundred and fiftieth anniversary magic show package, including overnight accommodation, the 1871 cocktail for two at Lockwood Lobby Bar and two tickets to a Magic Parlor show.

Accommodation rates at Palmer House start at $ 189 per night. For reservations or more information on the 150 of the hotele birthday, please visit or call (312) 726-7500.

About Palmer House, a Hilton hotel

Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel is within walking distance of famous Chicago cultural, shopping and shopping destinations such as State Street Shops, Art Institute of Chicago, Orchestra Chicago Symphony and the Joffrey Ballet. With 1,641 rooms, the hotel offers several dining options, including seasonally-inspired cuisine at the award-winning Lockwood Restaurant and the Lockwood Express, a take-out concept offering guests hot artesian fare, Lavazza and small cocktails. lots. The property also features an 8,000 square foot treatment center known as The Spa at Palmer House, a full fitness center, indoor pool, and The Magic Parlor.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hotel company with a wallet from 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,600 properties and more than one million rooms, in 119 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its foundational vision of filling the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has hosted over 3 billion guests over its more than 100 year history, secured a place Choice on the 2020 List of Best Workplaces in the World, and was named the 2020 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing a standard of cleanliness that defines the industry in hotels around the world. Through the award-winning Hilton Honors loyalty program, the more than 118 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn points for hotel stays and experiences money can’t buy. Hilton Honors app, customers can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a digital key and pay, all from their smartphone. Visit for more information and contact Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Youtube.

Comments are closed.