History of the Nickerson Mansion: 1879

Residence of S. M. Nickerson

Above: Residence of S. M. Nickerson, front elevation. The American Architect and Building News, February 26, 1881, Vol. 9, Iss. 270.

Something New in Houses: A Fire Proof Residence


Chicago Daily Tribune, July 27, 1879, page 16

Something New in Houses – A Fire-Proof Residence

A fire-proof residence is something of a novelty in this country. The new residence that Burling & Whitehouse, architects, are erecting for S.M. Nickerson, President of the First National Bank, will have this unique claim to attention…The interior of Mr. Nickerson’s house is rendered completely fire-proof by the same general methods of construction that were followed in the Singer building, now owned by Field & Leiter. The floors are laid on iron beams, between which brick arches are sprung. These arches are overlaid with cement…There will be on this floor two fire-proof vaults, a water elevator, and the kitchen and domestic offices. A novelty in the interior construction is to be the entire absence of plaster. There is to be no plaster laid on any walls. The entire surface will be marble, tile, ornamental words, and hangings and tapestries.

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