Frances Glessner Lee’s Birthday Gala Celebration
Saturday, March 23, 2019

We invite you to join us in sponsoring Frances Glessner Lee’s Birthday Gala Celebration, the kick-off to a week of events celebrating our most famous Glessner family member and the unveiling of the new restoration of her childhood bedroom. A National Historic Landmark, Glessner House remains an internationally-known architectural treasure in Chicago and served as an inspiration to architects such as Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and the young Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Event Overview
This exclusive, black-tie dinner party, seated between the Glessner’s formal dining room and their beautifully decorated coach house, is projected to begin with cocktails and end with dessert and remarks in a heated tent in the courtyard of the House. During the evening there will be an exclusive opportunity to be the first guests to view the newly completed restoration of Frances Glessner Lee’s childhood bedroom, generously funded by an anonymous donor.   

6:00 pm    Cocktail reception and behind-the-scenes tours of the restoration
7:30 pm    Dinner followed by dessert and program 

Event Guests
110 guests are expected to attend this exclusive event, with more than 700 anticipated to tour the newly restored room and attend the events throughout the week.   


Sponsorship Levels

Dining Room Sponsorship - $10,000

  • One complimentary table of six in the Dining Room at the Gala

  • Four tickets to all FGL Birthday week events

  • Logo recognition on invitation

  • Recognition on displays and signage at all events of the week

  • Logo recognition on website with link

  • Recognition in newsletter

  • Verbal recognition during all events

  • Mention on social media

Coach House Sponsorship - $5,000

  • One complimentary table of six in the Coach House at the Gala

  • Two tickets to all FGL Birthday week events

  • Recognition on invitation

  • Recognition on displays and signage at event

  • Recognition on website and in newsletter

  • Verbal recognition during Gala

  • Mention on social media

 Conservatory Sponsorship - $2,500

  • Two complimentary seats at the Gala

  • Two tickets to all FGL Birthday week events

  • Recognition on displays and signage at event

  • Recognition on website and in newsletter

  • Mention on social media


Frances Glessner Lee Week of Celebration Events
March 23-30, 2019 

Check back soon when events are posted to the Programs page of our website to buy your tickets!

Glessner House is delighted to announce Frances Glessner Lee’s birthday and our next major restoration project. Inspired by the recent return of Fanny Glessner’s childhood bed, a generous anonymous donor has provided funding for the complete restoration of her second floor bedroom. This exciting project will include rebuilding the missing wall between her bedroom and that of her brother George; restoring moldings; repairing and refinishing the floor; adding period lighting; recreating her draperies and daybed; and reconstructing the ‘secret passage’ that connected the two children’s bedrooms.

The week of activities includes important fundraising events as well as engaging public programs designed to connect with long-time supporters and to introduce Glessner House to new audiences in and around Chicagoland. The week includes:

Frances Glessner Lee Birthday Gala
Saturday, March 23, 2019, 6:30 – 10:00pm

The Gala is a black-tie dinner party held at Glessner House in the coach house and the intimate dining room. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert and a special program about Frances Glessner Lee. Also included is a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of her newly restored bedroom and an award presentation to the generous donor who made the restoration possible. 

Frances Glessner Lee Birthday Party
Monday, March 25, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

This celebration is the public opening of Fanny Glessner’s newly restored bedroom. The event will include beverages, hors d’oeuvres, music on the stunning parlor piano, tours of the restoration, recognition of our generous donor, and, of course, birthday cake!

Anatomy of a Restoration
Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 7:00 – 8:30pm

Restoration of historic buildings requires an extensive tool kit. Part art, part science, and entirely creative, accurate restoration involves planning, research, engineering, recreation, preservation and much more. This panel presentation will examine restoration from top to bottom with a deep look at our Fanny Glessner bedroom restoration project as well as other notable intriguing projects at the house.

Screening of Mystery Street
Friday, March 29, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00pm

Frances Glessner Lee was instrumental in launching the field of forensic science through her endowment of the Harvard Department of Legal Medicine in 1931 (the first in the country). In 1950, Director John Sturges’ film noir classic Mystery Street featured Harvard forensics department in the solution of a diabolical murder and blackmail detective story.

Murder in a Nutshell: A Frances Glessner Lee Whodunit Event
Saturday, March 30, 2019, 7:00 – 8:30pm

You are invited to become the detective as we venture deep inside Frances Glessner Lee’s Nutshell Studies. Using Lee’s written crime scene descriptions and detailed photographs, members of the audience will work together to unravel the clues Lee placed in the models and try to determine - was it suicide, accidental death, or murder?