How the panelling from the SS Normandie ended up in a Chicago hotel

In October, I will again be at the Hilton Chicago for an eDiscovery event called Relativity Fest. Last year, my son William and I recorded some video interviews in the wonderful Normandie Lounge at the Chicago Hilton – not just the most spacious filming studio we have ever had, but easily the most beautiful.


The Normandie Lounge is fitted out with panelling from the SS Normandie, the fastest and most luxurious of the transatlantic steamships of the 1930s.

The SS Normandie, alas, came to a bad end – commandeered by the US when France was overrun by the Nazis, she was being refitted for military service when a lamp set fire to a pile of lifejackets. Vast amounts of water were pumped in an effort to quell the fire; by the next morning, the once beautiful SS Normandie was on her side.

You can find the story here. Fortunately, the panelling had already been removed before the fire.



About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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