The Story of Bertha & Potter Palmer: Love Under Fire
After blazing through Chicago in a mere two days, The Great Chicago Fire destroyed a four-mile radius, gobbling up 2,000 acres, 73 miles of roads, 120 miles of sidewalk, 2,000 lampposts, and 17,500 buildings. The fire also rendered 90,000 people homeless out of a population of 300,000 and left 300 people dead. For one eminent couple, Bertha and Potter Palmer, the fire also consumed their life's work. In just two days, their entire fortune went up in smoke, including Palmer's crown jewel, The Palmer House, which was his wedding gift to Bertha valued at $3.5 million. The hotel was decimated just 13 days after it was completed. Palmer had named it The Palmer House, rather than Hotel, because it was to be a home for his new bride, Bertha. In The Great Chicago Fire, Palmer lost his entire life's work, 32 buildings, and his fortune, estimated at approximately $7 million.Bertha and Potter Palmer left an indelible imprint on Chicago. The documentary begins with The Great Chicago Fire and relates Bertha and Potter's story before and after the fire, charting the impact they had on Chicago becoming the world class city that it is today. The film will be shot in HD for television with distribution on PBS (WTTW Chicago) and DVD distribution.