Mentioned on their website as the United States’ “oldest continually operating hotel,” the Palmer House is one of the Historic Hotels of America and a beautiful tribute to the gilded days of yesteryear. A gift from businessman Potter Palmer to his new wife, Bertha, the original hotel burned in the Great Chicago Fire less than two weeks after opening. It was rebuilt in November 1873 in the Classical Revival Style and the rest is, well, history.
It’s also worth noting that without the Palmer House, John Lotkin’s favorite confection in Merman may not have existed. At the direction of Bertha Palmer, the Palmer House kitchen invented the chocolate brownie in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition. The original recipe can be found here.