For those of you who are keeping track, our latest "Ask Henry" question, #36, reveals the answer to this question: How many buildings designed by architect HH Richardson were built in Chicago--and where were they? And...how many remain to this day? https://www.glessnerhouse.org/ask-henry
On January 7, 1976, exactly 45 years ago today (!), Glessner House was officially designated a National Historic Landmark. The building was recognized for its innovative floor plan, and the impact Richardson's urban residential masterpiece had on the course of American architecture and its practitioners. Glessner House was one of six Chicago sites designated on the same date, the others being the Reliance Building, Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio (in suburban Oak Park), the Marquette Building, the Leiter II building, and the South Dearborn Street - Printing House Row North Historic District. This was quite extraordinary, considering that there are only 39 National Historic Landmarks in the City of Chicago (26 of which are also designated as Chicago landmarks).
The first National Historic Landmark in the city was Robie House, designated in 1963, and the most recent is Wrigley Field, designated in 2020. Second Presbyterian Church, located just a few blocks from Glessner House, and the home church of the Glessners' daughter-in-law, Alice, was designated an NHL in 2013 in recognition of its extraordinary Arts & Crafts interior.
In light of the current threat to Richardson’s Brookline, MA home at 25 Cottage Street, Glessner House will be presenting an online Zoom presentation, At Home with H. H. Richardson, on Tuesday January 12 at 7:00pm CST. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased on the Glessner House website right here: https://www.glessnerhouse.org/programs/2021/01/12/at-home-with-h-h-richardson
-In 1874, Henry Hobson Richardson and his family rented a rambling old frame house at 25 Cottage Street in the affluent community of Brookline, Massachusetts. Four years later, he closed his New York office and moved his architectural practice into the house as well, significantly expanding the building as business grew. For the remaining eight years of Richardson’s life, his family, employees, and clients freely intermingled, creating an atmosphere that suited Richardson perfectly.
-The home, which has been sitting empty for many years, is now threatened with demolition. In this presentation, we will explore the house in detail, focusing on portions of the building added by Richardson. We will also share a first-hand account of the house as documented by John Glessner in 1885-1886, and will provide a preservation update regarding the recently imposed 18-month demolition delay
In 1874, Henry Hobson Richardson and his family rented a rambling old frame house at 25 Cottage Street in Brookline, Massachusetts where family, employees, and clients freely intermingled. That house is now threatened with demolition. This presentation will explore the house in detail using period p
January 4th marked the anniversary of the passing of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first music director, Theodore Thomas, one of the Glessners’ closest friends. In January 1906, second music director Frederick Stock began a tradition of honoring Thomas on the first anniversary of his death.
(Image of Thomas from the Glessner House collection)
Laurie Toth, a member of the House & Collections Committee at Glessner House, talks about her years volunteering with the costume collection at the Chicago History Museum in this article posted today in Classic Chicago Magazine: https://www.classicchicagomagazine.com/adventures-in-the-chicago-history-museum-costume-collection/
Note: Most of Frances Glessner’s clothes are in the Chicago History Museum collection including the dress pictured here. It was featured in their exhibit, "Eight Chicago Women" in 1978.
Happy New Year from Glessner House!! While celebrating the day, don't forget that on this day in 1848, Frances Glessner was born in Urbana, Ohio!!
#TBT a 2014 post from our blog about New Year's Eve, 1900.... the new century that was about to begin!! Lots of activities reported on in this post from back then. A good read to perk all our Facebook friends up, in light of a, shall we say...low-key (for obvious reasons) new year's eve this year?? Have fun! Enjoy!!
In a few days, the world will bid farewell to another year and usher in 2015. In celebration, we take a brief look back at how the Gle...
Good news! On Tuesday December 29, the Historic Preservation Commission for the Town of Brookline voted to institute an 18-month demolition delay for H. H. Richardson’s home (pictured here in 1900--from Brookline Historical Society) at 25 Cottage Street. This home, and the homes to either side, 39 Cottage Street and 222 Warren Street (which was owned by landscape architect John Charles Olmsted) were purchased in 2020 by a developer who requested a complete demolition of all three structures. The demolition delay has been applied to all three houses, to give time for alternate plans to be developed.
Read more about the hearing in today’s article in The Architects’ Newspaper: https://www.archpaper.com/2020/12/hh-richardson-and-john-charles-olmsted-homes-get-temporary-reprieve-from-wrecking-ball/
AND, Join us on January 12th as William Tyre presents “At Home with H. H. Richardson,” an in-depth look at his beloved Brookline home, where family, employees, and clients intermingled in a unique, creative environment that produced several of the most important late 19th century buildings in the United States, including Glessner House: https://www.glessnerhouse.org/programs/2021/01/12/at-home-with-h-h-richardson
The Fall 2020 issue of Nineteenth Century, the magazine of the Victorian Society in America (VSA), features two articles about Glessner House. “Mr. & Mrs. John J. Glessner Request the Pleasure . . .” by our executive director William Tyre details the elaborate dinner parties that took place in the house. “Eighteen Hours with Mattie Williamson” by Justin Miller, shows all the work that went into these dinners behind-the-scenes with the Glessners’ cook. These two articles, along with “Dining Out in Nineteenth- and early Twentieth Century Chicago” by food historian Bruce Kraig, were presented at the Glessner House/VSA symposium on kitchens and dining held in November 2019.
--Limited copies available, just $12.50 each ($11.25 for members)https://glessnerhouse.z2systems.com/np/clients/glessnerhouse/giftstore.jsp?actionType=search&keyword=nineteenth%20century&catalogSearch=false&secureIdCustomer=1&
Glessner House (and other) historic preservation fans may enjoy exploring this extensive and very interesting database.... Easy to peruse and informative, thanks to Landmarks Illinois!! http://www.landmarks.org/saic-database/
Explore the Database Information in the survey database is based on field inspections conducted by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. The dates of construction for a building are often approximate and are not based on detailed permit research. S...
Having a lazy holiday weekend? How about coloring some of our recent offerings from our "Color Our Collections" collection? For you or the kids or friends who enjoy coloring as a hobby!?!?
Download from a number of offerings having to do with Glessner House here: https://www.glessnerhouse.org/color-our-collections
We at Glessner House wish all of our Facebook followers a very peaceful day. Hope whatever you are doing, you are enjoying yourselves. And relaxing a bit.
A little about the Glessners' CHRISTMAS, 1924....
-Frances Glessner’s journal stops in 1917, but various other documents left behind help us to reconstruct what Christmas would have been like in 1924.
-The guest list shows that seventeen people joined the Glessners for dinner.
-In addition to the guest list, we also have Frances Glessner's seating chart. Frederick Stock--Music director of the symphony since 1905--occupied the place of honor to her right; Eric DeLamarter sat to her left. The two youngest female guests, Nathalie Gookin and Vera Wolfe, sat to either side of John Glessner.
-The menu was not as elaborate as it would have been in the late 1800s; including just four courses (as opposed to eight).
Soup, served with crackers, olives, and celery. Crackers would have been baked by the cook (no saltines here), and celery was still quite popular, with special dishes designed to hold the crudité.
Turkey, sausage, cranberries, jelly, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, and radishes. The sausage was most likely from Deerfoot Farms, the finest and most expensive sausages at the time; it is frequently identified by name on other dinner menus. Jelly referred to a gelatin dish, i.e. a “Jello mold,” all the rage at the time.
Tomato and lettuce salad, with cheese balls and crackers. Menus consistently show that salad was always served after the entrée.
Plum pudding, ice cream, cake, candy, fruit, nuts, and raisins. Plum pudding was a standard on the Glessners’ Christmas table, and ice cream was served at almost all dinner parties.
This being Prohibition, no alcohol was served. During dinner, guests consumed cider and White Rock, the most popular mineral water of its day. Coffee was served with dessert.
The toast read by Hermann V. von Holst at dinner is significant in that it combines a bit of history of his relationship with the Glessners, how meaningful the years of friendship were to him, and a first-hand account of how the Glessners’ “spirit” impacted all those around them.
-He began the toast by noting that in 1896, he received his first independent commission as an architect from the Glessners – a bronze tablet commemorating their horse Jim, who had died earlier that year at The Rocks, where he was buried beneath a huge boulder.
-After dinner, the party traveled down to Orchestra Hall, where Stock led one of his “popular concerts” consisting of lighter works, with tickets priced from 15 to 50 cents, making the concerts available to a wide audience!
Poinsettias, Santa and Christmas cards, anyone? Anything you want to know about the history of these three holiday topics? Ask our Glessner House Henry, right here: https://www.glessnerhouse.org/ask-henry
He can pretty much answer what you'd like to know! If you read questions #32--#34!
From historicnewengland.org: Make your voice heard. You can be notified of the hearing and are encouraged to send comments by contacting Preservation Planner Tina McCarthy at [email protected].
Richardson is one of "the recognized trinity of American architecture." Immortalized across the country through his namesake Richardsonian Romanesque style, Richardson’s work solidified an American architectural vocabulary in the years following the Civil War.
Did you know??? Eighteen of our items from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 are being shipped to the Field House Museum for their upcoming exhibit documenting the experiences of the "children's poet" Eugene Field and his family during the fair. Roswell Field (Eugene's father) purchased the home at 634 South Broadway in 1850 and is remembered today as the attorney who argued the Dred Scott case before the Supreme Court. The house was saved from demolition in 1934 and has operated as a historic house museum since 1936, making it the oldest house museum in St. Louis.
It is interesting to note a few connections between the Glessners and the Field family. Frances Glessner records meeting Eugene Field in March 1893, and two of his books are found in the library. A decade later, Frances Glessner met Roswell Field (Eugene's brother, named after his father) and there are three of his books in the library, one containing the following note to Frances Glessner:
"Dear Mrs. Glessner: Thank you for your kind note and believe me that a generous word from a friendly source is a truer incentive to renewed effort than all the siren songs of the publisher's cash box. I trust I may merit your continued appreciation and approbation. Very faithfully Roswell Field."
The exhibit will run through June 2021.
Are you getting your holiday food shopping list together???? Why not try some holiday cooking this year, Glessner style??? Here are some ideas from "Cooking With Mattie." Have fun, shop and cook and report back!!! https://www.glessnerhouse.org/cooking-with-mattie
The very old and the beautifully re-created retelling of holiday history at Glessner House was so wonderfully conducted virtually by our executive director Bill Tyre last night on zoom. Here’s to a wonderful season no matter how you celebrate!!
Still time to register before tonight's fabulous program! You will truly enjoy Christmas with the Glessners via this wonderful virtual get-together.....Learn all about what the holidays meant to the Glessners and what all they did. And see how the house was decorated and how their traditions made for a very unique celebration in the marvelous Glessner House! 7PM. Be there for virtual merriment, Glessner-style....
Experience Christmas 1895 with this virtual tour through Glessner House, all decked out for the holidays.
Today we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the Glessners’ favorite composers. The photo attached shows Theodore Thomas’s musical signature as it appears on his framed portrait that is displayed in the parlor. The signature includes the four iconic opening notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. This was a particular favorite of Thomas, and he programmed the piece both on the very first concert of the Chicago Orchestra in October 1891 and for the dedication of Orchestra Hall (now Symphony Center) in December 1904.
A great story about our collection! All about silver gravy ladles from the servants!
The Glessners celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on December 7, 1895. During dinner, at which just the four family members were present, Frances Glessner recorded the following in her journal: ". . . then in a few minutes Frederick came and in a very graceful way asked me to accept two beautiful gravy ladles from the servants. With the spoons came a card 'with the best wishes of the servants' followed by their names arranged according to the length of time they have been with us. These gifts were all in the most perfect taste and touched us deeply. After dinner John called them in and thanked them for us both."
The ladle shown here, in the "New Castle" pattern with a gold wash on the interior of the bowl, was made by Gorham and retailed through Spaulding & Co. in Chicago. Frances Glessner was so touched by the gift that she had the message and names from the card engraved on the bowl of one of the ladles. The names and position of each were as follows:
Frederick Reynolds, butler
Charles Nelson, coachman
John Flear, footman
Mattie Williamson, cook
Antonie Gersting, ladies maid
Annie Munro, parlor maid
Just a five minute video--but OH, SO interesting..... Another secret from Glessner House: the beams on the ceilings.....
In this installment, we look up to the ceiling to explore the secrets of the beamed ceilings found in several of the main rooms of the house, from checks and...
When is a Tiffany not a Tiffany?
**Remember, several posts down, when we featured a pen tray and stamp box in the Pine Needle pattern as our Object of the Month? They have both long been attributed to Tiffany Studios, however only the pen tray bore the company stamp on the underside. The stamp box (shown above) had all the characteristics of Tiffany's work, but the lack of the Tiffany Studios stamp was worrisome. We reached out to Lindsy Parrott, director and curator of the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, for her thoughts. Sure enough, she confirmed that a company known as Riviere Studios produced items in the Pine Needle pattern which were nearly identical to those made by Tiffany, but the pieces do not bear a maker’s mark. Since the stamp box is not marked, it is safe to assume it is a Riviere Studios copy of an actual Tiffany box. In a way, the juxtaposition of an authentic Tiffany Studios pen tray next to a Riviere Studios copy of a stamp box on Frances Glessner's desk makes for a more interesting story than if they had both been made by Tiffany!!!
1800 S Prairie Ave Chicago, IL 60616
The number 3 and 4 buses stop at Michigan and 18th Streets. Walk two blocks east and the entrance to the museum is at 18th St. and Prairie Avenue.
The Metra Electric line has a flag stop at 18th Street as well. The McCormick Place stop is a 5 to 7 minute walk.
The closest El stop is at Roosevelt. The Red, Green and Orange lines stop there.
Non-permit parking is limited to 18th Street, Indiana Avenue, and Michigan Avenue.
Our mission is to spark excitement in architecture, history, and design through a dynamic exploration of Glessner House, its family, and its preservation.
The House is open to visitors by advanced ticket only on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:30am, 1:00, and 2:30pm. Tours last about 60 minutes and start at the Glessner House Visitors Center located in the coach house. Admission is $20 for adults, and $17 for seniors (age 60+) and students (ages 13-18). No children under 13 are permitted at this time.
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Curator Bill Tyre is “the Professor”, as pianists in shady places of entertainment were sometimes called.
A clip of Elizabeth Doyle and Jim Cox, Jazz Avec Deux, at Glessner House:
A preview of the items in the silent auction at the afterparty of today’s Walk Through a Time.
A preview of the lovely items in the silent auction at the afterparty of today’s Walk Through Time.
More from the #GlessnerHouse #GleamTeam! #Docent Allan Vagner and volunteer Steve Scott are hard at work in the pantry. #museummonday #smallmuseumlife #historichousemuseum #glessnerhousemuseum
Introducing the Glessner House Gleam Team!
Docent Council Chair, Karen Oliver, introduces you to the #GlessnerHouse #GleamTeam. Also featuring #docents Marilyn Scott and Kay Young. #museummonday #smallmuseumlife #historichousemuseum
Toast of the South Loop 2016 - Diggin' In
AND we're off! Inside the coach house for the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance Toast of the South Loop. The ladies of The Spoke & Bird are servin' up some tasty viddles. #prairedistrict #southloop #pdnatoast
Toast of the South Loop 2016 - Lining Up on Prairie Ave
They're lining up! Minutes away from the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance Toast of the South Loop 2016 at Glessner House Museum. #pdnatoast #pdna #prairedistrict
We have the BEST volunteers! Members of the #GlessnerHouseMuseum "Gleam Team", Steve Scott and Allan Vagner, are vacuuming our reproduction Peacock and Dragon portieres this morning. Thank you, guys! #MuseumMonday
As if no time has passed...Bob Irving, Class of 1971, shows fellow "Ancient Docents" around the house. #GlessnerHouseMuseum #GHM50
Today we host the "Ancient Docents" luncheon. Welcome and Happy 50th Anniversary to the first three Chicago School of Architecture Foundation docent classes of 1971, 1972, and 1973. #GHM50 #GlessnerHouseMuseum
Psst...get a sneak peek at the new carpet runners that were installed today! #GlessnerHouseMuseum #historichousemuseum #smallmuseumlife #GHM50
Glessner House: Iconic Architecture
Our iconic architecture is world-famous. Discover why at GlessnerHouse.org. #architectureMW #MuseumWeek
Museum Week 2016: Secret Drawer
Psst...We have a secret...and it's in the library. #SecretsMW #MuseumWeek
Getting ready for tonight's Halloween themed cocktail party with Exelon Corp.
It's not too often that you get to hear an 1887 Steinway piano. Still sounds as good as the day it was delivered to Mrs. Glessner. Want to hear more? Please join us for a special concert by pianist George Radosavljevic this Sunday at 4pm. Call 312-326-1480 for tickets. #glessnerhousemuseum #glessnerhouse
The Glessner House is rocking tonight courtesy of the Blues Kids Foundation. These are some amazing musicians. Concert is free and open to the public. Hury over, the music ends all too soon.
Congratulations #GlessnerHouse on your Silver Lining Award! Well deserved. At a time where we all need to believe something good can come out of something so devasting, the Glessner House has been the Silver Lining for us!
William Morris once said, “Fellowship is Heaven." Fellowship starts and ends at #GlessnerHouse. ❤️👏🎻
Dear FBF, I am so excited!! I just finished writing my Keynote Speech for Literacy Chicago's 50th Anniversary Gala and I decided to look at the location of the Gala....OMG! I simply can't believe how blessed my life truly is. I am actually going to be speaking in a magnificent example of Chicago architecture. The event will held on October 25, 2018, at the world renown Glessner House Museum, in a courtyard so beautiful that it was voted one of the top places to have a wedding in Chicago. To all my friends and fellow Toastmasters I humbly invite all of you to come and share this very special moment with me. Go to Literacy Chicago.org, tickets are still available. FBF, twenty-six years ago, a "Book" saved and changed my life. Please support my friend/fellow Toastmaster Joanne Telser-Frere and this incredible organization. There are over 900,000 adults in Chicago that can't read past the third grade level. I am so proud and honored to be apart of something so important as spreading the Power of Literacy. Thank you for your support.
I enjoyed reading this short article and watching the 3 minute video. I was reminded of the early efforts of Jack Simmerling to capture the mansions of Prairie Avenue before they were torn down. I was also reminded of Frances Glessner Lee and her incredible Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death that were replicated crime scenes used to teach law enforcement officers how to become better Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). Note the "Nutshell Studies" will be on display in BOSTON at the Fine Arts Museum, October 13, 2018-January 21, 2019.
Come see "Burnham's Dream: The White City" musical next month!
Tickets available between June 7th and July 1st. Get your tickets before they're gone...
Great Museum and Events!
Court yard in Summer 1923
The Story of a House , J.J.Glessner
Snowfall at Glessner House,
February 10, 2018
Visited Glessner House Museum in Chicago. Had a great tour thanks to Sandy, our friendly and informative docent who made the experience fun and enjoyable. #glessnerhouse #glessnerhousemuseum #chicago
Thanks for your mention of Burnham's Dream: The White City, our new musical. Here's the announcement. We had a concert performance of an earlier version at Glessner House a few years ago to a capacity audience! Thank you for your continued support for this Chicago musical about the 1890s.
June Finfer, Lost and Found Productions