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Life Span: 1872-1927
Location: NW corner of Wabash and Monroe streets
Architect: John M. Van Osdel
From Andreas’ History of Chicago, 1884
Prior to the great fire, W. A. Jenkins and Albert A. Holmes were proprietors of the Clifton House, and when this hostelry went down, Mr. Jenkins secured the building at the northwest corner of Washington and Halsted streets, and opened it as a hotel, which he called The Clifton. He continued in its management until the early part of 1873, when M. E Vincent became proprietor, and so continued until the opening of the new Clifton House. The latter was erected by W. A. Jenkins and Ira Holmes, and completed in the latter part of 1873. It stands at the northwest corner of Wabash Avenue and Monroe Street, and has a frontage on the former thoroughfare of eighty feet and extends back about one hundred and eighty feet. It is six stories in height above the basement, built of the finest brick, and cost $237, 400. The furniture cost $105,000. It has a total of two hundred and twenty-five rooms, of which one hundred and seventy-live are devoted to sleeping-rooms. It has an average capacity for five hundred guests, but during a run has accommodated six hundred and twenty people. Colonel Jenkins opened the hotel in 1873, and continued as manager until 1878, when he withdrew and Munger Bros, became the lessees and managers. They remained in the house until 1882, when the property was purchased by Messrs. Woodcock & Loring, and they assumed the management, the Munger Bros, moving to the Matteson House, which Woodcock & Loring hail just vacated.
When the latter parties took the Clifton House, they gave it a thorough renovation and spent over $60,000 in re-arranging ami furnishing the interior. The Clifton has always been among the most popular houses in the city, and under its present management is a prosperous and well-paying property
The Windsor-Clifton Hotel, at the northwest corner of Wabash Avenue and Monroe Street, was built in 1872 and razed in 1927 to make way for the Men’s Store of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company. For many years it was one of Chicago’s leading hotels. The old Chicago Club, afterwards De Jonghe’s Hotel and Restaurant, is seen west of the Windsor-Clifton. It was originally called the Clifton House till 1909 when it was purchased by Samuel Gregsten (Windsor European).
After the great fire, Mr. Gregsten built the Windsor hotel on Dearborn street, between Monroe and Madison. This was the first and for many years the only European hotel in Chicago and in it was never conducted a bar during the many years Mr. Gregsten was the owner and proprietor. The Windsor had the reputation of being the home of people from small towns and the country. It was preeminently respectable. No man was ever so strict and severe in the management of a hotel as Sam Gregsten, who, upon finding anything wrong or suspicious did not hesitate to throw guests out into the street at midnight and return to them their money.
He later purchased the Clifton Hotel, on the northwest corner of E. Monroe and S. Wabash streets, renaming it the Windsor-Clifton. This hotel was an extremely well known “European” hotel of the time.
The architect was John M. Van Osdel.
1907 postcard from the Windsor-Clifton Hotel
NW corner of Wabash and Monroe streets
Robinson Fire Map 1886
Volume 1, Plate 7
From Chicago’s First Half Century, 1883
THE CLIFTON HOUSE.
A COZY AND COMFORTABLE HOTEL.
For those who want a cozy and comfortable house, without the noise and confusion that cannot be avoided at the larger hotels, we cordially recommend the Clifton House, one of the neatest, nicest, and most luxurious hostelries in the country. Here everything is quiet, genteel, and aristocratic, and the proprietors pride themselves upon the high character of the people who make the Clifton
their stopping place. It is situated at the corner of Monroe street and Wabash avenue,
just at the edge of the wholesale district, and is surrounded by the finest retail establishments
in the city. It was reopened a little more than a year ago by Messrs. Woodcock and Loring, formerly of the Matteson House, and was then newly furnished throughout.