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Architect: John M. Van Osdel
Photographer: Copelin and Melander
Location: NE corner of Wells and Randolph Streets
Life Span: 1856-1928
Artist: Louis Kurz
Publisher: Jevne & Almini
Printer: Chicago Lithographing Co., 62-64 Clark Street
Published: July 1866
THE BRIGGS HOUSE, one of the first-class Hotels of Chicago, was built in 1854 and it, by William Briggs, Esq., whose name it bears.
It was opened for guests on the 1st of May, 1855, under proprietorship of Floyd and French. It continued under their charge until March, 1858, when it passed into the hands of the present proprietors, William F. Tucker and Company.
In 1866, the building was raised from its foundation 4 feet 2 inches, to suit the altered grade, and is one of the most complete and aesthetically arranged hotels in the city.
The Briggs House has always been celebrated for the comfort, neatness, quiet, and admirable order of its appointments, and also for the excellence of its table and the general hospitality of its proprietors.
The rooms are large, well lighted and ventilated, and it can accommodate comfortably 500 guests.
The house has recently been refitted and refurnished throughout, and in keeping with the advanced style of the leading hotels of the country.
It has a front on Randolph Street of 80 feet, and extends north on Wells Street 180 feet.
The following gentlemen constitute the staff of the establishment:
William F. Tucker and Co., Proprietors; George H. French, Superintendent; William F. Wentworth, Cashier; Fred. Burnham, Clerk.
James W. Sheahan, Esq.
Raising of the Brigg’s House in 1860.
The Great Fiure at Chicago—Scene in Wells Street—The Terrified Populace in Front of the Briggs House—Which has just Caught Fire—From a sketch by their Special Artist
Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper
28 October 1871
The first Briggs House, erected in 1856 on the northeast corner of Randolph and Wells streets, was five-story Italianate building designed by John M. Van Osdel. It was one of the many structures in the area that were raised several feet a few years later along with the grade of the streets. While the Briggs House was not as luxurious as the Sherman House or the Palmer House, a pre-fire observer could still comment that it “has always been celebrated for the comfort, neatness, quiet, and admirable order of its appointments, and also for the excellence of its table and the general hospitality of it proprietors.”
Is one of our most popular first-class hotels. It is five stories high, with fine accommodations for about four hundred and fifty guests. The location of this house, corner of Wells, and Randolph streets, is convenient of access to the business portion of the city, and near the Court House and Chamber of Commerce. Tne traveller is here provided with every possible comfort, and its table is spread with all the delicacies of the season. B. H. Skinner, proprietor.
Survived the Great Fire, but was torn down in 1928. In 1859 and 1860 Abraham Lincoln planned his campaign here, and for a half a century was a favorite resort for politicians.