Puffles and Honey are in Chicago, with a busy, busy schedule!
Tonight they went out for a stroll…
On the way the found something interesting, the lobby of the Palmer House Hilton Hotel.
Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel in the Loop, is the oldest hotel in Chicago and considered the oldest continuously operating hotel in the United States.
The Palmer House was financed by a Chicago millionaire retailer and real estate developer Potter Palmer (1826-1902). His fortune was made in retail beginning with a Chicago store in 1852. In 1865, Palmer partnered with Marshall Field to run his stores in a merger resulting in Palmer selling his interests in the retail company in 1867. The mid-western chain of department stores known as Marshall Field and Company developed out of Palmer’s Chicago retail business.
The Palmer House opened September 26, 1871 as a 225 room luxury hotel. The hotel furnishings were priced at $100,000, about 50% of the hotel’s construction cost. Potter Palmer was constructing a second hotel nearby at the time of the Palmer House opening and lived at the Palmer House. Both his hotel properties and many of his other commercial business properties burned down a couple of weeks after The Palmer House grand opening in the Great Chicago fire of October 8-10, 1871.
Chicago architect John Mills Van Osdel saved his architectural plans by digging a hole in the basement of the Palmer House and burying his papers under sand and damp clay.
Bertha and Potter Palmer received the largest private individual bank loans in U.S. history for that time with a line of credit for $1.7 million to finance downtown Chicago reconstruction. By 1873 or 1875 (depending on the source), the second Palmer House hotel was completed and is now considered the longest continuously operating hotel in the United States.
The hotel building that stands today is the 3rd reincarnation of the hotel from 1925.
From the oldest hotel in Chicago, to the oldest restaurant…
Puffles and Honey are having dinner at Chicago’s oldest Italian restaurant, which is actually three restaurants under one roof: The Village, La Cantina, and Vivere. Each has a separate kitchen and is located on a separate floor of the two-story building built in 1927.
A large portrait of late founder Alfredo Capitanini, an immigrant from northern Italy, greets all who ascend a flight of stairs leading to the second-floor Village, a long and narrow 195-seat restaurant set to look like an Italian courtyard at night, complete with twinkling “stars” overhead.
You can dine at the same table as Al Capone once did or where Frank Sinatra’s wedding reception was celebrated.
More strolling to walk off the calories 🙂