Prairie Avenue  Walking Tour
Aug
18
2:00 PM14:00

Prairie Avenue Walking Tour

This tour will take you down Chicago’s historic Prairie Avenue, once home to Marshall Field, George Pullman, and many other business and social leaders of the late 19th century. See photos of the houses that have been lost and view the surviving mansions. Highlights will include an interior tour of the National Historic Landmark Second Presbyterian Church with its collection of nine Tiffany windows.

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Courtyard Concert: Jazz Avec Deux
Aug
28
5:30 PM17:30

Courtyard Concert: Jazz Avec Deux

Pack your picnic, grab your blanket and chairs, and chill your favorite beverages, it's time for Courtyard Concerts at Glessner House.  Are you ready for a new gathering spot for an evening of fun with neighbors and friends, laughter, and music?  The beautiful private courtyard is the perfect setting to enjoy some great local music and relax while dining al fresco on the lawn. Piano and bass join in this mellow jazz experience perfect for a summer evening. Elizabeth Doyle, singer-songwriter-pianist performs her eclectic mix of European and American jazz standards along with her own originals. She is joined by bass player extraordinaire, Jim Cox, who has played with everyone from Earl “Fatha” Hines and Rosemary Clooney to Marian McPartland.

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Glessner House and the Arts & Crafts Movement
Sep
7
10:00 AM10:00

Glessner House and the Arts & Crafts Movement

Glessner House is internationally recognized as a pivotal work of architect H. H. Richardson.  But equally important is the significant collection of furniture and decorative arts that John and Frances Glessner selected and commissioned to furnish their home.  In these special behind-the-scenes tours, Executive Director and Curator William Tyre will showcase items from the collection that demonstrate Frances Glessner’s commitment to the tenets of the Arts & Crafts movement, both as a collector and as a talented silversmith, jewelry maker, and needle worker.  The work of Isaac E. Scott will be highlighted.  Over the course of  more than 40 years, Scott designed and executed countless pieces for the family, including furniture, picture frames, earthenware, pewter and embroidery designs.

 

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Tour: Walking the White City
Sep
8
10:00 AM10:00

Tour: Walking the White City

The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the “White City,” was considered so important in the history of Chicago that a star on the city’s flag was designated in its honor. It also was of national significance in the development of what came to be known as the “American Renaissance.”  This walking tour of Jackson Park, with architect and historian John Waters, will locate the sites of landmarks of the fair, explore the fascinating vestiges of the fair that still remain, and show how the fair influenced the design of Jackson Park as we know it today. 

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Motor Row Walking Tour
Sep
14
10:00 AM10:00

Motor Row Walking Tour

This walking tour down South Michigan Avenue will explore what is considered to be the largest intact early “automobile row” in the U.S.  At its peak in the early 20th century, over 100 different makes of automobiles were being sold in Motor Row.  More than sixty of the original showrooms survive today as the landmark Motor Row District, with examples by architects Holabird & Roche, Alfred Alschuler, Christian Eckstorm, Philip Maher, and Albert Kahn.

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Prairie Avenue Walking Tour
Sep
15
2:00 PM14:00

Prairie Avenue Walking Tour

This tour will take you down Chicago’s historic Prairie Avenue, once home to Marshall Field, George Pullman, and many other business and social leaders of the late 19th century. See photos of the houses that have been lost and view the surviving mansions. Highlights will include an interior tour of the National Historic Landmark Second Presbyterian Church with its collection of nine Tiffany windows.

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The Architecture of Glessner House
Sep
21
10:00 AM10:00

The Architecture of Glessner House

This exclusive behind-the-scenes tour will explore the significant architecture of Glessner House. Controversial at the time of its completion in 1887, it foreshadowed the development of modern residential architecture, and architect H. H. Richardson had a profound impact on architects to follow, including Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. This special two-hour tour will focus on the architecture from basement to attic.  Attendees will see areas not included on public tours as well as objects rarely shown, including Richardson's original sketch.

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Remembering the Garrick: An Evening with John Vinci
Sep
24
7:00 PM19:00

Remembering the Garrick: An Evening with John Vinci

The Garrick Theater looms large in Chicago history – both as a masterpiece of Adler & Sullivan and as one of the earliest organized efforts to preserve an important part of our architectural heritage.  This exclusive event will provide attendees with an intimate view of the building as experienced by architect John Vinci, who was on the front line to fight for its preservation, which then shifted to a salvage operation when demolition became imminent.  Co-sponsored by Bldg. 51 Museum. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image courtesy of the Richard Nickel Archive, Art Institute of Chicago

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Courtyard Concert: Gypsy Jazz
Sep
25
5:30 PM17:30

Courtyard Concert: Gypsy Jazz

Pack your picnic, grab your blanket and chairs, and chill your favorite beverages, it's time for Courtyard Concerts at Glessner House.  Are you ready for a new gathering spot for an evening of fun with neighbors and friends, laughter, and music?  The beautiful private courtyard is the perfect setting to enjoy some great local music and relax while dining al fresco on the lawn. Guitar artist, John Papadolias, known for his Gypsy jazz stylings is teamed up with Chicago’s classiest jazz performer, Elizabeth Doyle. She is a singer-songwriter-pianist who performs her eclectic mix of European and American jazz standards along with her own originals.

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The Vanishing City: Excavating the Chicago World's Fair of 1893
Oct
13
2:00 PM14:00

The Vanishing City: Excavating the Chicago World's Fair of 1893

The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition lasted for only six months before its structures “vanished.” But the Fair’s permanent impact on American consumer culture, city planning, and questions around citizenry and foreignness was deeply tied to and reinforced by its ephemerality. Professor Rebecca Graff will discuss her archaeological and archival research focused on the Fair’s ephemeral “White City” and Midway Plaisance. The results of the excavation in Jackson Park revealed a robust archaeological signature of the extensive sanitary infrastructure of the Fair and, surprisingly, delicate plaster remains of the Fair’s Ohio State Building. Graff’s work links the Fair, as a catalyst for structural change and its material record, to the larger social structures of late nineteenth century America. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

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The Architecture of Glessner House
Oct
19
10:00 AM10:00

The Architecture of Glessner House

This exclusive behind-the-scenes tour will explore the significant architecture of Glessner House. Controversial at the time of its completion in 1887, it foreshadowed the development of modern residential architecture, and architect H. H. Richardson had a profound impact on architects to follow, including Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. This special two-hour tour will focus on the architecture from basement to attic.  Attendees will see areas not included on public tours as well as objects rarely shown, including Richardson's original sketch.

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Shadows on the Street: Haunted Tours of Historic Prairie Avenue
Oct
25
7:00 PM19:00

Shadows on the Street: Haunted Tours of Historic Prairie Avenue

Tales of strange sounds, unexplained sightings, and untimely endings await as you explore Prairie Avenue after dark! During this 60 minute walking tour through the Prairie Avenue Historic District, learn about the mystery surrounding the death of Marshall Field Jr., the tragic events that plagued the Philander Hanford house, the lingering ghost of Edson Keith, and more - if you dare!  Pre-paid reservations required.

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Shadows on the Street: Haunted Tours of Historic Prairie Avenue
Oct
26
7:00 PM19:00

Shadows on the Street: Haunted Tours of Historic Prairie Avenue

Tales of strange sounds, unexplained sightings, and untimely endings await as you explore Prairie Avenue after dark! During this 60 minute walking tour through the Prairie Avenue Historic District, learn about the mystery surrounding the death of Marshall Field Jr., the tragic events that plagued the Philander Hanford house, the lingering ghost of Edson Keith, and more - if you dare!  Pre-paid reservations required.

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Haunted Hearts and Household Ghosts: Dead but Not Departed in Victoria's Britain
Oct
30
7:00 PM19:00

Haunted Hearts and Household Ghosts: Dead but Not Departed in Victoria's Britain

When Queen Victoria’s beloved husband Prince Albert died in 1861, she swathed herself in black and mourned his loss for the rest of her life. On the night before Halloween, come explore Victorian-style mourning in a light-hearted look at the rituals and relics - from graveyard gatherings and seances to posthumous portraits, hair jewelry, and spirit photography - that gave the dead a vital role in daily life. The presentation will be given by Debra Mancoff, a popular lecturer, Scholar in residence at the Newberry Library, and the author of numerous books on Britain in the 19th century.

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Glessner House and the Arts & Crafts Movement
Nov
2
10:00 AM10:00

Glessner House and the Arts & Crafts Movement

Glessner House is internationally recognized as a pivotal work of architect H. H. Richardson.  But equally important is the significant collection of furniture and decorative arts that John and Frances Glessner selected and commissioned to furnish their home.  In these special behind-the-scenes tours, Executive Director and Curator William Tyre will showcase items from the collection that demonstrate Frances Glessner’s commitment to the tenets of the Arts & Crafts movement, both as a collector and as a talented silversmith, jewelry maker, and needle worker.  The work of Isaac E. Scott will be highlighted.  Over the course of  more than 40 years, Scott designed and executed countless pieces for the family, including furniture, picture frames, earthenware, pewter and embroidery designs.

 

 

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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Nov
8
6:30 PM18:30

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Frances Glessner was known for her hospitality, and regularly welcomed friends to share a meal in the elegant dining room of her home. Guests included Prairie Avenue neighbors, business and social leaders, musicians, artists, authors, and university presidents and professors. In this illustrated lecture, curator William Tyre will explore what a guest would have experienced from the time they entered the front door until they left for the evening. Topics include drawing up the guest list and seating chart, selecting the menu, creating the table setting, themed dinners, after dinner entertainment, and highlights from Frances Glessner’s collection of more than 100 cookbooks which still reside on the shelves in the library. This event will also serve as the opening reception for the symposium “Nineteenth Century Kitchens and Dining,” taking place on Saturday November 9th, co-sponsored by the Victorian Society of America. Reception begins at 6:30pm; lecture at 7:15pm.

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Symposium: Nineteenth Century Kitchens and Dining
Nov
9
9:00 AM09:00

Symposium: Nineteenth Century Kitchens and Dining

Dining evolved into a high art form during the nineteenth century. This symposium will explore dining customs, from the recipes used to the appropriate utensil required for each type of food consumed during the multi-course feasts. Back of house will be examined as well, showing how kitchens developed during the period, and what it was like for the kitchen staff to prepare the elaborate foods in the days before labor-saving devices. Co-sponsored by Glessner House and the Victorian Society in America.

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The Architecture of Glessner House
Nov
16
10:00 AM10:00

The Architecture of Glessner House

This exclusive behind-the-scenes tour will explore the significant architecture of Glessner House. Controversial at the time of its completion in 1887, it foreshadowed the development of modern residential architecture, and architect H. H. Richardson had a profound impact on architects to follow, including Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. This special two-hour tour will focus on the architecture from basement to attic.  Attendees will see areas not included on public tours as well as objects rarely shown, including Richardson's original sketch.

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Memory in Glass
Nov
16
10:00 AM10:00

Memory in Glass

This lecture and tour will focus on a significant collection of memorial windows at Second Presbyterian Church of Chicago, the only church in the city to be individually listed as a National Historic Landmark.  The factors resulting in the increased use of leaded glass during the 19th century will be examined, as will the innovations that led to this growth by national figures such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and John La Farge, and local practitioners including Louis Millet and Giannini & Hilgart, all of whom are represented at the church.  Specific examples of the myriad types of glass developed during the period will be examined, including drapery glass, confetti glass, faceted jewels, and the all-important opalescent glass perfected by Tiffany. Finally, the donors themselves, and those for whom the memorial windows were given, will be discussed, including such prominent names as Marshall Field, George Pullman, Silas Cobb, Timothy Blackstone, and John Crerar.  Co-sponsored by Friends of Historic Second Church. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Image by Mark F. Heffron.

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The Restoration of Chicago's Union Station
Dec
3
7:00 PM19:00

The Restoration of Chicago's Union Station

A $22 million project completed in early 2019 returned the Great Hall of Chicago’s Union Station to its 1920s glory as envisioned by architects Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. Major work included the restoration of the 219-foot-long skylight, plaster repair, restored ornamentation, restoration of 24 ceiling chandeliers and two sculptures by artist Henry Hering, and a paint analysis which revealed the original color scheme. The presentation will be given by Leonard Koroski, FAIA, a principal with Goettsch Partners, who led the team in this three year project.

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Children's Gingerbread House Decorating Party
Dec
7
10:00 AM10:00

Children's Gingerbread House Decorating Party

Be Your Own Architect!  Come create a holiday masterpiece at Glessner House’s third annual Gingerbread House Decorating Party!  Create your own mini gingerbread house to take home.  All supplies are included.  We’ll have lots of helpers, so no previous decorating experience is necessary.  We’re offering two event times, 10:00-11:30am and 1:00-2:30pm. Select time at checkout. Advance registration is required as space and supplies are limited. This event is recommended for ages 3-13 – children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Christmas Candlelight Tours
Dec
14
5:00 PM17:00

Christmas Candlelight Tours

These special 45-minute docent led tours will highlight Christmas customs and decorations of the late 19th century. The house will feature elaborate decorations of the period including a live tree decorated with period ornaments, toys and holiday crafts, and the dining table set for an eight-course Christmas feast. After the tour, enjoy light refreshments in the coach house.  Tours start every fifteen minutes with the last tour starting at 6:30pm.

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Christmas Candlelight Tours
Dec
15
5:00 PM17:00

Christmas Candlelight Tours

These special 45-minute docent led tours will highlight Christmas customs and decorations of the late 19th century. The house will feature elaborate decorations of the period including a live tree decorated with period ornaments, toys and holiday crafts, and the dining table set for an eight-course Christmas feast. After the tour, enjoy light refreshments in the coach house.  Tours begin every fifteen minutes with the last tour starting at 6:30pm.

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On the Road with H. H. Richardson
Dec
17
7:00 PM19:00

On the Road with H. H. Richardson

In 1882, Henry Hobson Richardson embarked on an extended trip to Europe. His itinerary through France, Italy, and Spain, and his impressions of what he saw, were preserved in a series of letters he sent home to his wife Julia in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Upon his return to the United States, Richardson set to work on a series of commissions that were deeply influenced by his European travels, and resulted in the emergence of his trademark style, that eventually became known as Richardsonian Romanesque.  These included such seminal works as the Marshall Field Wholesale Store in Chicago, the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, his unbuilt project for the All Saints Episcopal Cathedral in Albany, New York, and Glessner House.  This program by Kay Young, a lecturer in medieval material culture, will retrace Richardson's steps through Europe and will show how the memory of what he saw directly influenced the projects he designed during the remaining four years of his life. A partner program of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

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The Architecture of Glessner House
Dec
21
10:00 AM10:00

The Architecture of Glessner House

This exclusive behind-the-scenes tour will explore the significant architecture of Glessner House. Controversial at the time of its completion in 1887, it foreshadowed the development of modern residential architecture, and architect H. H. Richardson had a profound impact on architects to follow, including Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. This special two-hour tour will focus on the architecture from basement to attic.  Attendees will see areas not included on public tours as well as objects rarely shown, including Richardson's original sketch.

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A Walk Through Time
Jun
14
1:00 PM13:00

A Walk Through Time

This very special tour provides attendees with the rare opportunity to visit the interiors of several historic homes in the Prairie Avenue Historic District.  Following the tour, attendees are invited to return to the Glessner House courtyard for a reception featuring food and beverages, live jazz music, and silent auction, featuring theatre tickets, Chicago memorabilia, collectibles, architectural fragments, and other items of interest.

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