Congress Hotel / by Anna Rae

Over the weekend I had an amazing opportunity to stay at the allegedly haunted Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago to experience, document and collect data from the building and neighboring downtown space. It is a historical masterpiece where time stays still throughout little nuances within the framework of the hotel. Some sections like the lobby, are opulent, to say the least. The building was erected in 1893 (making this the second ghostly narrative/building in Chicago that I’ve painted that  revolves around the World’s Fair). The lobby boasts intricately carved stone sculptures hidden away in high arches along the edge of the ceiling. Nothing compares to the Gold Room. We took a short adventure around the hotel at night to take photos and take it all in. The floor that the Gold Room is on didn’t have any lights on when we arrived. A security guard happened to be nearby and happily let us in to get a private look at the majestic-ness of the space. Ceilings as high as what seems like threw stories. Detailed figurative paintings adorn the ceiling, the walls seemed to be dripping with gold and it has the energy residue of a thousand wedding roasts. In regards to hauntings, there was one strange photo in the Gold Room where an unitendifed source of pink light made a trail where in another photo the source cannot be found. Not at all much to put weight into for an argument that it is haunted but who knows what else is there and not on film. 

View from our room of Grant Park / Buckingham Fountain and Lake Michigan.       

View from our room of Grant Park / Buckingham Fountain and Lake Michigan. 




Elevators in the south corridor. 



The Gold Room




Second photo with probably easily explainable pink light. 





Our room door 




Navy Pier at night is pretty spooky. 




My haunted hotel partner, Sean. 




Painting of a night photo from Navy Pier with a view of the Congress Hotel (the red oblong shape in the middle) by Sean Gill 




original reference photo © Sean Gill