The magnificent Hilton Chicago Hotel and Towers on the 720 South Michigan Avenue was designed by Holabird and Roche in the mid-1920s as a 3000 room hotel. It was originally the Stevens Hotel. The hotel opened in 1927.
Holabird & Root was founded in 1880. Beginning with the Tacoma Building (completed 1889; demolished 1929), their first major commission, and the Marquette Building (1895) where they are currently located. The firm became well known for its groundbreaking Chicago School skyscrapers and lavish hotels. They also designed Chicago’s Palmer House.
The original founders, William Holabird and Ossian Cole Simonds, worked in the office of William LeBaron Jenney. They set up their own independent practice, Holabird & Simonds, in 1880 when they took on the project for an extension to Graceland Cemetery.
The 25 story building has a French classical exterior, a Grand Ballroom and Grand Stair Hall. It originally had an 18 hole rooftop golf course. It overlooks Grant Park and Michigan Avenue with 1,544 guest rooms and suites. It is the third-largest hotel in Chicago by number of guest rooms but it has the largest total meeting and event space of any Chicago hotel. The hotel has housed every president of the United States since its opening in 1927.
The hotel is a Chicago landmark that overlooks 319 acre Grant Park, Lake Michigan, and the Museum Campus. Grant Park is often called “Chicago’s front yard.” The Hotel is located in the heart of “Chicago’s Cultural Mile” from the Chicago River to Roosevelt Road on Michigan Avenue. This historic area includes landmark-designated buildings and major cultural institutions: the Field Museum, the Fine Arts Building, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Symphony Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Auditorium Theater. The portion of Michigan Avenue opposite Grant Park is the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District ,the home of many historic early skyscrapers
There are also private clubs: The Chicago Club at 81 E. Van Buren, The University Club of Chicago at 76 East Monroe and The Cliff Dwellers Club at 200 South Michigan on the 22nd floor for professional artists and people who support the arts.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com