John T Glessner House

John T Glessner House

Glessner House Teemu008

Glessner House Teemu008

The John J Glessner House, otherwise known as the Glessner House Museum, is a highly important 19th century Chicago residence, the oldest building in the whole city! Located on Prairie Avenue, Glessner House provides guests with some of the most authentic city histories in the form of architecture, culture, and economics. Architect Henry Hobson Richardson used Romanesque architecture plus his own unique style to design this home, the style now known as ‘Richardson Romanesque’.

Several docent-led tours take place regularly at this landmark house, ranging from basic house tours (75 minutes) to architecture and walking tours. Made a National Historic Landmark in 1887, this ‘internationally-known architectural treasure of Chicago’ provides a truly radical departure from traditional victorian architecture, an aspect of architecture that inspired a young Frank Lloyd Wright and his overseer Louis Sullivan shortly after. The entire world of architecture was redefined in regards to domestic workings, something that is explained in detail at the Visitor Center. Specific architectural elements you will see include the exterior stone fortress-like frontage and the spacey 17,000 interior square feet, equally formal and informal, the space dotted with family artifacts galore.

Tours are offered Wednesday through Sunday at 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm, though if you have 8 or more in your group you will need to pre-book a custom tour (and by you we of course mean we). So what are you waiting for? Visit the Glessner House and learn about the 50 years of quality Glessner family time spent here, the rise and fall of Prairie Avenue neighborhood architecturally speaking, and the idea of ‘happy family life’ during the Gilded Age in general.