Tremont House (Chicago)
Tremont House (1850–1871, pictured left) was a leading hotel in Chicago, United States, that served as the Headquarters for the Illinois Republican Party during the 1860 Republican National Convention held at the nearby Wigwam as they lobbied for Abraham Lincoln's nomination. Both Lincoln and Stephen Douglas started their Senatorial campaigns from the balcony of this hotel. It was the third hotel bearing this name constructed at the Southeast corner of Lake Street and Dearborn in Chicago. It was a 260-room hotel by early Chicago architect John M. Van Osdel, who is known as the architect of the Illinois Executive Mansion. It was a block masonry structure with the finest amenities of the day. The original Tremont House built in 1833 had been named after the Boston Tremont House. In 1861, this building served as Douglas' deathplace.
Today, a Tremont Hotel is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide network and is located at 100 East Chestnut Street, between Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile and Rush Street. The Hotel houses the Chicago location of Mike Ditka's restaurant. This block of Chestnut is also known as Mike Ditka Way.
George M. Pullman made his reputation as a building raiser before becoming famous for sleeping cars. In 1861, Ely, Smith and Pullman lifted the Tremont House six feet in the air; it was just one of many Chicago buildings raised to match the upward shifting street grade during the mid nineteenth century.
The hotel burned to the ground a third time during the Great Chicago Fire. During the interim, John Drake (1826-1895) bought a hotel at Michigan Avenue and Congress that served as the temporary New Tremont House. Drake bought this temporary Hotel as a successful bet that it would escape the fire the day the Tremont caught fire.
Some sources ambiguously cite this as the Headquarters of the 1860 National Republican Convention. The Wigwam served as the convention center. This hotel provided the hotel and meeting accommodations for the Illinois Republican Party during the convention.
A Tremont Hotel (1873–1937, pictured left) was built on the site. The rebuilt hotel remained along with the Palmer House, Grand Pacific Hotel and the Sherman House as a leading hotel after the Great Fire. It was built in the commercial palazzo architecture style of the day and claimed to be fireproof.
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- Karamanski, Theodore J. (2005). "Wigwam". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
- Host, William R. and Brooke Ahne Portmann, "Early Chicago Hotels," Arcadia Publishing, 2006, p. 11., ISBN 0-7385-4041-2.
- DN-0060398, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.
- "The Tremont Hotel". Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- "Mike Ditka's". Mike Ditka’s Restaurants. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- Sager, Mike (1999-10-01). "Is Ditka Nuts?". Esquire. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
- Leyendecker, Liston E. (2005). "George Pullman and His Town". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved February 27, 2007.
- "The Tremont House Improvement". Chicago Daily Tribune. 22 January 1861.
- Host, William R. and Brooke Ahne Portmann, "Early Chicago Hotels," Arcadia Publishing, 2006, p. 29., ISBN 0-7385-4041-2.
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