Glass Houses and My Hotel

I just finished “The Lake House” and found that, to my surprise, it was a really enjoyable movie for several reasons, the first and foremost being that it genuinely surprised me. I thought one thing would happen and when something else entirely happened I honestly didn’t see it coming. I appreciate any movie that can do that.

The second reason is that it was filmed right here in Chicago. I like looking at Chicago films and finding places I recognize. Speaking of which… if you look closely around the fourteen minute and forty second mark when Keanu’s character is on a city sidewalk talking to his younger brother you will see the front entrance canopy to my hotel right behind them! That was cool. (Interesting fact: The fund raiser scene at the beginning of “Return to Me” was filmed inside my hotel.)

On the subject of my hotel–it isn’t the greatest in the city. But the one thing I love about it is it’s rich history, and not just the myriad of ghost stories most any employee could tell you. The hotel was built in 1893 to help accommodate the large number of people that would be attending the World’s Columbian Exposition. Presidents used to stay in my hotel, back in the early 1900s. Benny Goodman hosted his NBC Radio Show from one of the banquet rooms turned nightclub. And during WWII the U.S. Army purchased the hotel for use as an Army headquarters. I think that’s fascinating.

I recently discovered this framed photograph in the General Manager’s Office.
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Here’s a closeup of the caption in the bottom left-hand corner. Notice the date.
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And here’s a more detailed picture of the people. I find it a little eerie.
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There’s a chair in the lobby that was given to us by one of the Presidents who stayed here. I’m not sure exactly which President.
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And a closeup of the sign on the chair.
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Maybe it’s just me, but I’m fascinated by this stuff. I want to find more hotel history.

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