“The Most Perfect and Beautiful of All Wall Decorations”

“The Most Perfect and Beautiful of All Wall Decorations”

October 16, 2016Standing on the shoulders of the Industrial Revolution, the Gilded Age spawned an astounding number of inventions that profoundly changed life inside the American household. Those last few decades of the 19th century will always be known as a great era of invention.Read Article

I, Too, Sing America

Industry News: National Museum of African American History & Culture

September 24, 2016Via The New York Times: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opens on Sept. 24 in Washington after a long journey.Read Article

puck statue

New York’s Historic Puck Building

September 01, 2016This post is part of a series exploring the stories behind the Driehaus Museum’s latest exhibition, With a Wink and a Nod: Cartoonists of the Gilded Age.Read Article


The Story of the Fishers

March 30, 2016In the early decades of the 20th century, the fictional Crawley family of Downton Abbey® hosted grand dinners and fretted about the Great War. At the same time, the real Fisher family was doing the same—right here in this Gilded Age mansion the Driehaus Museum calls ‘home.’Read Article


[You Asked] What’s the Story with the Crappers?

October 16, 2015You Asked… What’s the Story with the “Crapper” Toilets in the Driehaus Museum Bathrooms? Today’s blog post is part of an occasional series dedicated to answering visitors’ questions.Read Article

Nickerson mansion

[From the Archives] Didn’t This Building Used to be Black?

August 25, 2015Today’s blog is part of an occasional series dedicated to answering visitors’ questions. Read Article

Colombian Exposition

A Guide to Enjoying the World’s Colombian Exposition

October 01, 2014The standard for the American mind, wrote M.G. Van Rensselaer, is to be “alive with mere curiosity as [much as] it is with a craving for instruction—pleased to look at anything, discontented only to think that other people are seeing things with which it cannot make acquaintance.” Read Article


Interior Designers of the Nickerson Mansion: Robert E. Seyfarth

July 21, 2014A young architect carved the distinctive lion heads on the lacquered-cherry wood fireplace mantel and the bookcases in the gallery of the Marble Palace. He was Robert E. Seyfarth, (Born 1878, Blue Island, Illinois) and an employee of both August Fiedler and George Washington Maher.Read Article


Interior Designers of the Nickerson Mansion: George W. Maher

June 21, 2014Visitors to the Driehaus Museum often cite the gallery as a favorite room with its marvelous stained glass dome and massive wood-burning fireplace. Lined with lacquered cherry bookcases and featuring an iridescent mosaic tile Art Nouveau surround, it is the one room in the mansion that was completely redecorated in 1901 thanks to the second owner, Lucius George Fisher Jr.Read Article


Interior Designers of the Nickerson Mansion: William August Fiedler

May 21, 2014“We strongly advocate the use of different styles in different rooms, to avoid the monotonous effect invariably produced by the fanatic apostles of the so-called Eastlake or Modern Gothic. For the same reasons it will be necessary for articles of luxury, as Easels. Hanging Shelves, Cabinets, etc., to use motifs from the Mooresque, Byzantine, Japanese, etc., though diametrically opposed to the prevailing style of the room.” – August FiedlerRead Article

Driehaus Prize

The 2014 Driehaus Prize

April 21, 2014The two honorees were awarded prizes for their contributions to the built environment during a public ceremony which took place at the John B. Murphy Memorial Auditorium on March 29.Read Article

art titles

In Process: Creating Reproduction Low Art Tiles for the Museum Store

October 14, 2013For the Museum Store, L’Esperance Tile was commissioned to craft two custom tiles inspired by the J. & J. G. Low Art Tile Works tiles found in the Driehaus Museum—which, with their embossed natural details, jewel-toned colors, and sheen, are among the most stunning surviving elements of the this 1883 mansion.Read Article


Luxurious Sport: Château de Chambord, France

October 04, 2013The Driehaus Museum has three sister institutions in Europe, each simply resplendent and embodying the highest ideals of preservation and classical architecture, just as we strive to do here in Chicago. Read Article


[Speaking of Architecture] The Life and Work of Edward J. Burling

June 28, 2013Edward J. Burling was, arguably, the first great architect in this city of great architects.Read Article

front view

“He Thought it was Architecture Run Crazy”

June 08, 2013The Driehaus Museum officially turns five years old today.Read Article


The Burnham Plan and the End of McCormickville

May 07, 2013The gleaming White City of the World’s Columbian Exposition made Daniel H. Burnham, architect, into a city planner.Read Article


[You Asked] What is That Other Mansion?

April 20, 2013You Asked… What is the story behind the peach-colored mansion catercorner to the Driehaus Museum?Read Article


[Speaking of Architecture] The Story of H. H. Richardson

April 04, 2013A beautiful Romanesque house was completed for John and Frances Glessner in 1887, just five years after the dust had settled from construction on our Nickerson mansion.Read Article


The 2013 Driehaus Prize

February 18, 2013It’s not just the entertainment industry that has an awards season.Read Article


A Princely Estate: Domaine de Chantilly, France

February 11, 2013The Driehaus Museum has three sister institutions in Europe, each simply resplendent and embodying the highest ideals of preservation and classical architecture, just as we strive to do here in Chicago.Read Article

Lost Chiacgo

WBEZ Architecture Critic Lee Bey Talks with ‘Lost Chicago’ Authors

December 17, 2012The following blog post by WBEZ architecture critic Lee Bey, originally titled “New ‘Lost Chicago’ Book Explores the City That Once Was,” was published November 29, 2012, on his blog,.Read Article


[Speaking of Architecture] The Mihrab Oriel Window

December 11, 2012This was a corner room on the floor just below the children’s, and the beauty of it was this window—an oriel window,—projecting beyond the wall, as such windows do, and so exactly at the corner that you could see, so to say, three ways at once when you were standing in it . . . a charming watch tower.”Read Article

the fair

119 Years since 1893: A Visit to Jackson Park

October 22, 2012Next week 119 years ago, with a crisp chill entering the air, the closing ceremonies concluded, the crowds began piling into Pullman cars to head back to their own parts of America, and the World Columbian Exposition’s dismantling began.Read Article


An Architect’s Legacy: Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

September 18, 2012The Driehaus Museum has three sister institutions in Europe, each simply resplendent and embodying the highest ideals of preservation and classical architecture, just as we strive to do here in Chicago.Read Article

open house

Open House Chicago, Oct. 13-14

September 10, 2012On Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, the Driehaus Museum will open its doors and offer free self-guided admission as just one of 150 participants in Open House Chicago 2012.Read Article

fullerton avenue

The Other McCormickville: Lincoln Park’s Seminary Townhouses

August 28, 2012Ah, Lincoln Park. Here, leafy trees offer dappled shade to quaint, historic residential buildings aligned in cozy, shoulder-to-shoulder rows.Read Article


Celebrating Chicago’s Architecture: Walking Tours with the CAF

July 23, 2012The Chicago Architecture Foundation celebrates Chicago architecture with such a wide reach that we couldn’t resist giving our members the chance to enjoy what the nonprofit has to offer. So all of our members get a Buy One, Get One Free Walking Tour benefit to use with CAF. Read Article


It Was Colonel Mustard With the Candlestick…

July 16, 2012There is this great line in the book Great Houses of Chicago, 1871-1921, which I lugged from the shelf in search of insights on the popularity of conservatories during the Gilded Age. It begins, “The Victorians were notorious for collecting…”—and that’s a perfect enough start.Read Article

endangered places

America’s Endangered Places

June 06, 2012Today the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its 25th anniversary list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places. As always the range is wide, from the country’s post office buildings to private estates like Theodore Roosevelt’s North Dakota ranch or Malcolm X’s boyhood home.Read Article

dinning room

[Q&A] with Caitlin Emery of the Preservation Society of Newport County

May 14, 2012Last week, East Coast native Caitlin Emery traveled—she admitted—as far west as she’s ever been, to deliver a lecture entitled Innovation and Opulence: Stanford White and the Kingscote Dining Room at the Driehaus Museum.Read Article


Gatsby’s House

March 06, 2012I reread F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby recently and was struck by two things. First, the efficacy and pure, unusual beauty of Fitzgerald’s language—just not something you can appreciate in the same way as a teen, even one who loved English lit. Second, the wild wealth depicted by Fitzgerald with everything from desperation and sadness to superficiality and cruelty residing just inches beneath. Read Article

for sale

For Sale: Gilded Age Luxury

February 01, 2012A tempting thought: Slipping into the Nickerson Mansion with a sleeping bag, claiming a guest bedroom, and making oneself at home.Read Article


The 2012 Driehaus Prize

January 24, 2012In a profile published in 2007, Chicago magazine called Richard H. Driehaus “one of the city’s most dedicated advocates for historic preservation.”Read Article


Of Gilded Age and Italy: Or, Why Pierpont Morgan Used Someone Else’s Family Crest

December 03, 2011The Nickerson Mansion has nearly 20 galleries on its three floors and design-wise, each room is pretty much doing its own thing. Walk into the drawing room, and bam. All the noble delicacy of Louis XIV France.Read Article