Monday, January 30, 2017

Review Glessner House - Chicago Historic Site

A tour of Glessner House, in Chicago's Prairie District had been on my bucket list for a few years. Glad to have completed the tour and experience early in 2017.  

Prairie Avenue, once known as “millionaires’ row” began subdivision in the 1850s.  Chicago icons George Pullman and Marshall Field helped establish Prairie Avenue as Chicago’s premier residential street. Alas by the 1910's the area had fallen out of fashion as the city grew - and today only a few of the original houses remain. Luckily with the rebirth of the south-side- live seems good in the area.

The exterior of the house I found stark contrast to other homes of the period and on the street. This was the intent and desire of the owner and architect. Lots of good history to the home design can be found on the museum website. I especially liked that the house was devoid of windows on the north-side - environmentally sound and kept more private.

The front door of the house I found to be very similar to those in the Irish Prison I had toured recently. A fact that the tour guide also mentioned - a desire to replicate that old world feeling! 

Glessner House Entryway - Jan 2017

The street side exterior also is a stark contrast to the interior court-side which was washed in windows. Albeit that the grounds for this home are sparse- at the time it was near the lake and other parks. Plus the family only resided here in the wintertime - the summer residence was a farm. 

Glessner House Courtyard, Jan 2017
In the photo above, the large curved portion of the building on the left - the upper level was a conservatory - the copper roof was originally glass. This was until they realized that it became too hot. 

Immediately upon entering the home, the red oak quartersawn woodwork hit me - so gorgeous. Plus all the stair railings in the family portions of the home were supprted by four different styles of barley twist spindles. Love that!

Barley Twist Spindles - Glessner House, Jan 2017

The first room on the tour was the library - photo below. The partner desk was used by both Mister and Misses Glessner - which I found amazing. The more I learned about Mrs. Glessner I thought she and I would have been soul sisters. She was involved in managing the business, was a amateur botanist, beekeeper, silversmith, entertainer, mother...

Glessner Partner Desk - January 2017

Deskside Phone List - Glessner, 2017

On the corner of both sides of the desk was the above "phone list." I enjoyed that the numbers were 4 digits :)

Ever wonder about the slang "in the crapper" or "crap?" It all goes back to an inventor named Thomas Crapper.  In a bathroom off the main hall - there was a Crapper sink and accompanying W.C. (water closet) paper. Seems that Thomas Crapper was one of the first to actually promote bath fixtures and products - hence I guess his name is now slang. 

Glessner House Bath - Jan 2017

Crapper Paper :) - Glessner House, 2017

The kitchen was very large - with a butler pantry, working kitchen, dry pantry and large walk in cooler. I enjoyed the dry pantry was staged with canning items and crocks. 

Well worth the visit! Also not other historic homes in the area - Dreihaus, & Dawes.


Teresa Marie

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