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The Palmer House

A Hilton Hotel


17 E. Monroe St.
Follow signs or ask hotel staff for directions to Red Lacquer Ballroom




Sat, Oct 19: Closed

Sun, Oct 20: 10am - 4pm

Long Lines Photography Permitted Refreshments Available Washrooms Available Wheelchair Accessible


Holabird & Roche, 1927


One of the city's most famous hotels has been a Chicago mainstay since the 1870s. The Great Chicago Fire destroyed the first Palmer House Hotel, which had opened just 13 days earlier. It quickly rose again from the ashes. Three decades later, it was replaced by the 24-story hotel that stands on the same spot today. The present Palmer House was the largest hotel in the world when completed in 1927. It features a grand gilded lobby designed in the French-Empire style with a formal staircase and Tiffany light fixtures, as well as several unique and colorful ballrooms. In 1945, the hotel was sold to Conrad Hilton, and it remains a Hilton Hotel to this day. A recent, thorough renovation restored this legendary landmark to its original grandeur.

Visitor Experience

See the boldly beautiful Red Lacquer Ballroom on the fourth floor. Place settings with original china and guest names will recreate the "Greatest Banquet of American History" celebrating the return of Ulysses S. Grant from his around-the-world tour after his victory in the Civil War.