It was a party like you would expect from a Chicago institution! The 140 year old Palmer House Hilton had Monroe Street closed off and there was the marching band from Carl Sandburg High School as well as so many VIPs and dignitaries, I lost count! The emcee was a Chicago institution himself, Bill Kurtis. Alderman Brendan Reilly and General Manager Dean Lane also spoke but the star of the show was the Mayor. He spoke from the heart, as he always does, and even made the crowd chuckle as he recounted the many family parties he'd attended there. He said, "I remember many times with father in the Empire Room where he sat me down to tell me what I was doing wrong. It was a long list."
Palmer House owner, President and CEO of Thor Equities, Joe Sitt, said when he first toured the property, he found himself speaking to an employee of 69 years who said he had shined shoes for Woodrow Wilson. The employee told Sitt if he bought the hotel to remember he is also buying a piece of history.
And then the plaque was revealed to much fanfare and with the confetti flying, the crowd cheered this much beloved Chicago landmark which is the oldest continually operating hotel in the country.
Then everyone was invited inside to the Grand Lobby where Executive Pastry Chef Fabrice Bouet had created a cake in the form of the building itself. Mayor Daley took the first bite and, from the smile on his face, approved Chef Bouet's efforts!
It was an historical day filled with love and pride from all who attended.
Happy Birthday and congrats dear Palmer House!
Filed under: Palmer House anniversary celebration
Tags: Alderman Brendan Reilly, Bill Kurtis, Carl Sandburg Marching Band, Chef Fabrice Bouet, Chef Stephen Henry, David Brandt, Dean Lane, Gwen Lockhart, Joe Sitt, Ken Price, Mayor Daley, Palmer House, Palmer House Anniversary, Palmer House Hilton, Palmer House Landmark celebration, Potter Palmer IV, Thor Equities, Todd Temperly, Wagstaff