The Blackstone

Housed in a 1910 beaux arts building across the street from Grant Park stands the(Renaissance) Blackstone Chicago Hotel.Enrico Caruso, the opera legend, performed at the opening ceremony. Harry Truman treated his staff to the “Missouri Waltz” on the piano. At some point Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to the Beatles, purchased the Blackstone.

Named after Timothy Blackstone, president of Union Stock Yards and the Chicago & Alton Railroad, it was the hotel of chice for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lena Horne, Spencer Tracy, Betty Davis, the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, JFK, the Geman chancellor and the President of Poland. Since its opening on 16 April 1910, the Blackstone reflects, represents and reverberates Chicago and vice versa.  And, important to mention, the Blackstone is a real movie star.  You will find an almost complete list of all movies shot at the hotel under famous guests — click the button to the right. 

HISTORY IN BRIEF
Late 1800s – Timothy Blackstone, president of Union Stock Yards and the Chicago & Alton Railroad, builds his mansion on the intersection of South Michigan Avenue and Hubbard Court (now Balbo Street)
1900 – At the time of Timothy Blackstone’s death, his wife sells the mansion to hoteliers John & Tracy Drake

1908 – The mansion is demolished and construction begins for a new hotel planned by famed Chicago architects Marshall & Fox.

1910 – On April 6, the Blackstone Hotel opens to enthusiastic fanfare. Enrico Caruso, the opera legend, performs at the opening ceremony

1920 – An Associated Press reporter dubs Suite 915 the “smoke filled room” when Republican leaders and party power brokers meet secretly in this room and nominate Warren G. Harding as their party’s candidate for president.

1931 – Charles “Lucky” Luciano hosts the first-ever Crime Convention in the Crystal Ballroom of the Blackstone. The event was hosted with the intent of establishing a board of directors for his “National Crime Syndicate”

1944 – Harry Truman negotiates privately by phone with his wife in the Suite of Presidents as he reluctantly ponders whether to accept the VP nomination to run with Roosevelt. He also treated his staff to the “Missouri Waltz” on the piano.

1952- Eisenhower watches his nomination for president in the Suite of Presidents

1959-The Duke and Duchess of Windsor stay at the Blackstone

1962- President Kennedy enjoys the hotel’s Boston Clam Chowder in the Suite of Presidents before rushing back to DC for negotiations on the Cuban missile crisis

1987- The Color of Money, starring Paul Newman, is filmed in the Crystal Ballroom

1995- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, guru to the Beatles, purchases the Blackstone

1998- Chicago declares the Blackstone a historic landmark

1999- The Blackstone is shuttered after the Maharishi Yogi’s unsuccessful attempt to convert the hotel into a luxury condominium complex

2006- Sage Hospitality acquires the hotel and begins a 2 year transformation

March 2008- The Blackstone reopens as the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel

May 2012- The Chancellor of Germany and the President of Poland stay at the Blackstone historic Chicago hotel during a NATO conference

The Blackstone has been featured in several popular films and has hosted a slew of illustrious individuals. Below is a comprehensive list of celebrated visitors to the hotel’s downtown Chicago lodging and movies that the Blackstone has appeared in.
Many famous figures have visited the Blackstone:

Jack Nicholson
Audrey Hepburn
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Dwight D Eisenhower
Nixon
Truman
Roosevelt
John Kennedy
Enrico Caruso
Ray Bolger
Peter Falk
Hume Cronyn
Myrna Loy
Basil Rathbone
Katherine Hepburn
Henry Ford
James Earl Jones
Studs Terkel
Lena Horne
Tom Cruise
Julia Roberts
Paul Newman
Joan Crawford
Rudolph Valentino
Spencer Tracy
Betty Davis
Truman Capote
Tennessee William
Carl Sandburg
Rockefellers
Astors
Morgans
Vanderbilt
Whitneys
Paul Newman
Harding
Jimmy Carter
Woodrow Wilson
Al Capone
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor and their three pugs
Princess Brigitta and Desiree from Sweden
Charlotte, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg
Charles deGaulle
Antonio Rios, President of Chile
Mary Pickford
Douglas Fairbanks
Ethel Barrymore

 

Many movies have been filmed at the Blackstone:


The Untouchables
Color of Money
Rent A Cop
Jack and Mike
That Was You
Early Edition
Hudsucker Proxy
Myra
March in Windy City
Above the Law
Johnny Ryan
The Babe
Missing Persons
Bix
Love Jones
Blue Horizon
Missing Persons
Only The Lonely

Many movies have been filmed at the Blackstone: The Untouchables Color of Money Rent A Cop Jack and Mike That Was You Early Edition Hudsucker Proxy Myra March in Windy City Above the Law Johnny Ryan The Babe Missing Persons Bix Love Jones Blue Horizon Missing Persons Only The Lonely
Managed by: A Renaissance Hotel
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Our Select Member Hotel

The Blackstone
Country: USA
City: Chicago
Opening date: 16 April 1910

Note from the Host

General Manager

Coordinates

636 South Michigan Ave
60605 USA, Chicago

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