140th Anniversary Celebration Starts at Palmer House

The Palmer House Hilton opened on Sept. 26, 1971 as a wedding gift to Potter Palmer's wife, Bertha. It's the country's longest, continually-operating hotel and has hosted every president since it opened.

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Facebook / LVK
View inside the Palmer House vault of the Palmer China collection. Each 18 piece place setting is trimmed in gold and worth an estimated $10,000.
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Raudelis del toro
The heavy steel locking mechanism on the vault door requires a locksmith to open.
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Raudelis del toro
The vault’s door weighs an estimated two to three tons. It is located in a sub-basement level at about the same depth as the CTA Red Line.
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Getty Images
The 140-year-old Palmer House had a connection to the underground railway that brought coal to downtown buildings. It has since been walled off to prevent flooding.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
You can see how the constant moisture has corroded this old light fixture.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
The penthouse suite is another matter. The master bath is truly designed like a spa.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
The mirror has a built-in TV. And look closely at the painting in the background.
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Telemundo
Yes, that is a genuine Degas original. Potter Palmer’s wife, Bertha, was one of the first in America to appreciate the art of the French impressionists.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
This is the master bedroom. The three-bedroom suite lists at $3,900 a night. Bill & Hillary Clinton and the Dali Lama have stayed here.
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Getty Images
Yes, that is a real Monet on the wall.
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Getty Images/iStockphoto
The suite also includes a private study.
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Hotel staff are putting the finishing touches on the suite in preparation for the 140th anniversary celebration.
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LVK / Telemundo
The dining room was part of a $1.7 million renovation of this suite two years ago.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
You can see the lake while you dine.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
Speaking of dining, the Palmer House’s pastry kitchen is where the brownie was invented.
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LVK / Telemundo
These sweets will be served at the anniversary party.
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Charlie Wojciechowski
Everything looks good enough to eat.
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Twitter oficial Mayra Veronica.
The bronze Winged Angels that guard the stairway to the famous Empire Room were created by Louis Comfort Tiffany. They will be part of the historical tour offered by the hotel to celebrate its 140 years in business; the longest continuously operating hotel in North America.
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