The Glessner House Museum, voted one of the top ten historical houses in America by CNNMoney, is now offering free admission and free tours each Wednesday. Allow yourself to travel back into a historically rich period of Chicago history by visiting the beautiful museum built in 1887 by the famous architect, Henry Hobson Richardson. This architecture strayed away from the traditional Victorian style and inspired the future Frank Lloyd Wright.
Glessner House, located at 1800 South Prairie Avenue, was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976. This house, which displays a rusticated granite exterior and an oak-paneled interior, is continually restored and preserved while also housing a collection of 19th and 20th century furniture and decorative art objects! From the minute you walk through the Glessner House doors, you will view an almost exact representation of how these Chicagoans lived in the 1800s.
This museum does not currently allow self-guided tours of the house. Therefore, hour-long tours are provided every day of the week at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and free tours are given every Wednesday on a first-come, walk-in basis! Tours are also given of the Clarke House, the oldest surviving building in Chicago, built in 1836.
Aside from the intricate architecture of the house itself, an array of historic artifacts help create a true image of history. This collection includes an impressive amount of objects by the Chicago artisan and wood carver, Isaac E. Scott, numerous ceramic vases and tiles, Art Nouveau glass, a piano made by Steinway & Sons in 1887, and tons more!
As always, the museum offers specialty events throughout the year, and you can even rent out the courtyard, the dining room and other gorgeous areas for your own special events. If nothing else, allow yourself to be swept back into the 1800s for an hour of your day.
Glessner House Museum offers guided tours of Glessner House (1886), a National Historic Landmark and Clarke House (1836), the City’s oldest surviving building located in the adjacent Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens. Tours are led by trained docents and last approximately one hour in each house. Glessner House and Clarke House do not offer self-guided tours of the interiors at this time. Groups are limited to 12 visitors per tour and are on a first-come, first-serve, walk-in basis.