Christmas Cheer at Glessner House

0 Posted by - December 19, 2017 - House Museums

Join me this Saturday, December 23rd, 2:15 pm for a personal holiday tour of the Glessner House Museum.  I have been a docent at Glessner House for five years now and am honored to interpret this joyful gem of a home.  The house is decorated for the holidays and features a real Christmas tree from the Glessner’s former summer estate in New Hampshire.

Glessner House is an internationally-known architectural treasure in Chicago, which last year celebrated 50 years as a public museum.  It has just been named one of the top historic house museums in the U.S. by Curbed.

Located in the Prairie Avenue Historic District about two miles south of the Loop, the Glessner House is a National Historic Landmark and the only remaining Chicago work by influential architect, H.H. Richardson, completed in 1887.


Glessner House is recognized and visited by architects and architecture students from around the world.  It was a major innovation in residential architecture and exerted powerful influence on the work of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.

windowed porch

If the thought of taking another historic house museum tour sounds a tad dull, let me assure you that the Glessner House is no ordinary, dry house museum; our tours are refreshing and fascinating.  You feel the life and the love that went into this house.  The Glessners opened their hearts and their home to thousands of guests over the years and I know you will feel their hospitality.   H.H. Richardson made the house live and breathe and open up.  It’s incredible – and it’s difficult to describe.  You must come and experience it for yourself!

What was a revolutionary design in 1886 is still one of the most beautiful and unusual homes you’ll ever visit.  If you’ve seen the Driehaus Museum in Chicago, or photos of the Palmer Castle on Lake Shore Drive (now gone), these are prominent examples from the same era — elaborate Gilded Age splendour — and examples of what Richardson and the Glessners were explicitly NOT doing with their Prairie Avenue Home; the contrast is illuminating.


The house is meticulously restored and filled with Glessner family belongings.  We begin the tour with the exterior and inner courtyard, then explore the many art-filled rooms of this 17,000 square foot home.   A highlight for many visitors is experiencing where the eight servants worked and their sleeping quarters upstairs.


Tours are $15 for adults and last 75 minutes.  Glessner House Museum is located on the southwest corner of Prairie Avenue and 18th Street (2 blocks east of Michigan Avenue).  The Visitor’s Center is located inside the front entrance of the house facing Prairie Avenue.

prairie ave facade

I hope to share Glessner House with you.  Cheers!

Amber window

No comments

Leave a reply

Book Your Tour!