Hilton Chicago

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Discover Hilton Chicago, which was once the largest hotel in the world and named a "City Within a City" for its impressive amenities.

Hilton Chicago, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2015, dates back to 1927.

Hilton Chicago was constructed during the “Roaring Twenties,” in which flappers, the radio, and the Art Deco movement defined the age.

The Hilton Chicago, designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, opened its doors in 1927 as the Stevens Hotel, and continues to fulfill the vision of its original founder and first namesake. This vision was to create an entirely self-sufficient city within a city, a place capable of offering the most extensive convention and conference facilities in a primary destination. Today, Hilton Chicago keeps the dream alive by maintaining the hotel’s classic integrity with all the luxury conveniences the modern traveler has come to expect.

The hotel’s Grand Ballroom still has its original structure from 1927 and is completely free of pillars, which was an example of architectural ingenuity at the time. The ballroom still has its original chandeliers, which are fixtures made in France featuring Czechoslovakian crystal. The first gala was the Motion Picture Association in 1927 and the hotel hosted 3,000 movie stars and friends for the event. In 1942, the Grand Ballroom was used as a Mess Hall for the US Army Air Force. The chandeliers were removed and the center chandelier was never found when the room was later converted back into a ballroom. The chandelier is rumored to be in the White House.

The hotel has hosted many celebrities and dignitaries and every U.S. President has attended an event in the Grand Ballroom. In 2011, the ballroom hosted the welcome dinner for President Hu Jintao of China.

The hotel’s Normandie Lounge features parts from the French cruise liner S.S. Normandie, which was repurposed for use by the U.S. Army during WWII and was renamed the USS Lafayette. Original parts from the ship are incorporated into the lounge, including chandeliers, pieces of the bars, some of the woodwork and chairs.

In 1984, the original Rooftop Ballroom was converted into the Conrad Hilton Suite, the largest suite in the Midwest. It cost $1.6 million to construct and boasts 5,000 total sq. ft. of space, occupying two floors, the 29th and 30th. Overlooking Grant Park and Lake Michigan, the suite boasts a grand salon with fireplace, dining room for 14 people, library with pool table and bar, a private kitchen, 3 bedrooms with full bathrooms, private helipad, and spacious balcony. The suite is President Bill Clinton’s favorite place to stay in Chicago; he loved the pool table during his visits to the hotel. Other famous guests include: Prime ministers Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, King Carl Gustau of Sweden, Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, Premier of China, Bono, and John Travolta. Several films and television shows have featured The Conrad Suite, including: The Fugitive, Home Alone 2, E.R., and Boss. The suite underwent a $1.8 million renovation in early 2013.

  • Film, TV and Media Connections +
    "Movies Filmed at the Hilton Chicago: Fugitive (1993) – The hotel was featured in the last 25 minutes of the movie, and every square foot of the hotel was filmed. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) U.S. Marshals (1998) Home Alone II (1992) Primal Fear (1996) The Package (2018) Unconditional Love (2002) Love & Action in Chicago (1999) Road to Perdition(2002) The Express (2008) Little Fockers(2010) TV Shows Filmed at the Hilton Chicago: ER Early Edition Cupid The Beast Prison Break The Chicago Code Boss Chicago Fire Hidden City House Hunters Betrayal Mind Games Chicago P.D. Crisis"
  • Famous Historic Guests +
    "Charles Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, who was the first registered guest of the hotel. Douglas MacArthur, American general who played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II and who gave his famous speech defending his conduct during the War in Korea in the Great Hall in 1951."
  • About the Architecture +
    The Hilton Chicago, designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, opened its doors in 1927 as the Stevens Hotel, and continues to fulfill the vision of its original founder and first namesake. This vision was to create an entirely self-sufficient city within a city, a place capable of offering the most extensive convention and conference facilities in a primary destination. The Stevens Hotel opened on Chicago's iconic Michigan Avenue by James W. Stevens and his son, Ernest Stevens. Designed by architectural firm Holabird & Roche, this Beaux-Arts marvel cost approximately $30,000,000 to construct. Its interiors were appointed with bronze and crystal chandeliers and featured original Frescoe style oil paintings on the ceilings, inviting a late-Renaissance quality. At the time, the Stevens Hotel was the largest hotel in the world and was named a "City Within a City" for its impressive amenities.

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