Hotel Florence

Hotel Florence
The Hotel Florence opened to guests on November 1, 1881.


Quick Facts
The Hotel Florence is a former hotel located in the Pullman Historic District on the far south side of Chicago, Illinois. It was built in 1881 to a design by architect Solon Spencer Beman. 
George Pullman approved the design, and construction commenced on the new 50-room Hotel Florence to rent rooms to supply representatives for his company. 

The hotel cost $100,000 (in gold-standard dollars) to build. George Pullman named the hotel after his oldest daughter, Florence Pullman. The most luxurious suite in the hotel, the Pullman Suite, was designed for the personal use of George Pullman and his family. The hotel could also offer first-class accommodations to railroad CEOs who came to Pullman to do business with the firm. The hotel opened to guests on November 1, 1881.

George Pullman died in 1897. Under Pullman's successor, Robert T. Lincoln, the sleeping-car business continued to expand into the twentieth century, and the Hotel Florence built a major addition, the Annex, in the 1910s. This was, however, the decade that marked a peak for the American passenger railroad industry. With the growth of the automobile industry, travelers and salesmen began to drive themselves around. Almost all of the American railroads still offering night train services relinquished them to Amtrak in 1971. 

The Historic Pullman Foundation purchased the hotel in 1975 to save it from demolition; the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency took the title in 1991. 

Last updated: January 22, 2021