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Sherman House II
Life Span: 1861-1871
Location: NW corner of Clark and Randolph Streets
Architect: W. W. Boyington
Photographer: John Carbutt #52
The history of Chicago could not be accurately written without a reference to the historical Sherman House and its proprietor, J. Irving Pearce, one of the oldest and best known hotel men in Chicago, who kept the Adams House, at the corner of Lake street and Michigan avenue, when the place where the new Board of Trade now stands was a cow pasture. Mr. Pearce was for many years President of the Third National Bank of Chicago, but became proprietor of the Sherman House a little more than a year ago, and is now giving his whole time to the hotel business. Since he became proprietor, he has put entirely new furniture throughout the house, and it is now not surpassed by any hotel in the country for the attractions “and advantages it offers to tne traveler. Its rooms are larger and more convenient than those of any other hotel in the country and are luxuriously furnished.
The location, at the corner of Clark and Randolph streets, opposite the Court House, is in the exact center of the business district of the city, and within a block of the Beard of Trade and telegraph offices. The ticket offices of all the railroads are immediately under or around the Sherman House, and it is within two minutes’ walk of the principal theaters.
The second of a series of four Sherman Hotels.
The first was built in 1837 and was called the City Hotel, which F. C. Sherman bought in 1844 and changed the name to the Sherman House., The second lasted from 1861-1871. The third was built in 1911.
The last was in 1925, then closed in 1973, marking an end to the oldest, continuous operating hotel in Illinois. In 1980, the hotel was demolished and the site is now occupied by the Thompson Center, formerly the State of Illinois Center.
Sherman House (left) and Wood’s Museum
Photographer: John Carbutt #49
The Sherman House in 1862
The Sherman House in 1871
Photographer: Charles R. Clark
Artist: Louis Kurz
Publisher: Jevne & Almini
Printer: Chicago Lithographing Co., 62-64 Clark Street
Published: June 1866
THE SHERMAN HOUSE is the latest and most extensive of the the many grand hotels in Chicago, and in architectural beauty and convenience has no superior in the United States.
It is situated on the north-west corner of Clark and Randolph streets. Its main front is on Clark street. The building on Clark and Randolph streets is six stories and the basement. The exterior dimensions are” on Clark street 181 feet from Randolph street to Couch place; on Randolph street westwardly 161 (including the addition.)
The building is the property of the Ho. Francis C. Sherman, of Chicago, and is built upon the site of the old Sherman House. This work was commenced May 1, 1860, and the hotel was opened for visitors, July 1, 1861. The front of the building is of Athens marble, and the main entrance on Clark street is through a portico two stories high. The entrance is up a broad and easy flight of some stairs to the grand hall. Facing the entrance is the Office, which is in an alcove, and commanding a view of all the stairs leading to the upper stories.
A spacious Hall runs north and south the whole length of the building, at an average width of 30 feet. On this floor are the Parlors and Reception Rooms, which are not surpassed in size or general convenience by any similar hotel apartments in the country. The various Dining Rooms are also on this floor. The upper stories are devoted to rooms for guests, and are so arranged that they can be used singly or in suite.
The building was open for guests on the evening of July 1, 1861.
James W. Sheahan, Esq.