Glessner House Museum offers guided tours of Glessner House (1886), a National Historic Landmark and Clarke House (1836), the City's oldest surviving building located in the adjacent Chicago Women's Park and Gardens. Tours are led by trained docents and last approximately one hour in each house. All tours begin at our Visitor's Center located at Glessner House Museum and are timed so that the two houses may be toured back-to-back.
are open year-round, except for major holidays.
1:00 and 3:00 pm
at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm
J. 'Jack' Simmerling Gallery of Prairie Avenue History
Second and fourth Saturdays at 2:00pm
Pre-paid reservations required
Check back often for details on more exciting events and programs!
See end of list for recurring programs, including children's events.
July 19, 2015
August 16, 2015
September 20, 2015
(Tours begin at 2:00pm)
Also available by appointment for groups of 10 or more.
Starting Point: Glessner House Museum
for museum members
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING PARKING
Parking is available for all special events (NOT regular tours) in a parking lot located on the west side of Indiana Avenue, one block south of 18th Street. Look for signs that read "MUSEUM PARKING ONLY."
$10 per person / $8 for museum members
Reservations requested to 312-326-1480
Have you ever wondered how paint ended up in a can? Learn how the Industrial Revolution and socio-economic pressures of the time caused paint to evolve from ingredients mixed in the field, to a ready-mixed, mass-produced product (that created a few Prairie Avenue fortunes as well). This presentation by master painter Mario Guertin delves into the early challenges that Colonial America presented for paint and how technical innovations and population growth brought us to where we are today. After this presentation you will never look at a paint can the same way again!
This very special tour, the annual benefit for Glessner House Museum, presents attendees with the rare opportunity to visit the interiors of several landmarked homes along Prairie Avenue. Visitors will be treated to a breath-taking array of beautifully carved wood moldings, leaded glass windows, and fireplaces in elaborate tile, mosaic, and marble.
Abbreviated tours of the Glessner
and Clarke House Museums are also included on the tour as well as historic
Second Presbyterian Church, with its important Arts & Crafts interior
and collection of windows, including nine by Tiffany and two by Morris
A special members-only event!
Thursday June 25, 2015
6:30pm reception, 7:00pm presentation
This is your special opportunity to see items from the collection that are not on display for the general public. Textiles, silver, photographs, documents, and more are brought out for this one evening just for our members! If you are not currently a member, join today and receive your invitation in early June! (Simply download a membership form available at the "Get Involved" tab at the top of the page).
Private Tour: St. Patrick's Church
Wednesday July 15, 2015 at 6:00pm
$25 per person
Pre-paid reservations required to 312-326-1480
This private tour will explore
Chicago's oldest public building, designed in the 1850s by architects
Carter & Bauer. The simple facade of Milwaukee common brick
sports two distinctive spires symbolizing the Church in the East and West.
Inside, the renovation of the 1990s by Booth Hansen Associates revealed
the glorious Celtic art created by stained glass artisan Thomas O'Shaughnessy
and others. After the tour, we will walk one block east to tour
the exterior of the Glessner Center, built in the 1880s for John Glessner's
company - Warder, Bushnell and Glessner.
Prairie Avenue Walking Tours
Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00pm
July 19, August 16, and September
Pre-paid reservations suggested to 312-326-1480
See full description in sidebar at left.
Beginning in 1883, the Glessners spent over one-third of each year at their beloved summer estate in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, known as The Rocks. The estate, which encompassed nearly 1,500 acres at its peak, combined stunning architecture by Isaac Scott, Hermann Von Holst, and Shepley Rutan and Coolidge, set within a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and his sons. After the Glessners died in the 1930s, their descendants continued to occupy the estate and run it as an active working farm. In the late 1970s much of the property was donated to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forest, of which John Glessner was an early member. Today, the estate is one of the premier properties owned by the Society, offering a lush landscape, rare trees and plants, and numerous restored buildings that tell the story of the Glessners while being adaptively reused for today's needs. Join Nigel Manley, director of The Rocks Estate for the past 29 years, as he takes you on a journey through this natural wonderland.
Historically-Inspired Crafts for Kids, Ages 3-13
Tuesdays June 16 - August 4, 2015
10:00 - 11:00am
$5 per child / $3 for Junior Members
Reservations requested to 312-326-1480
Come for a new adventure every
week! Learn about life in early Chicago and on Prairie Avenue while
making craft projects inspired by area history. Recommended for
children ages 3 through 13; children must be accompanied by an adult.
Enter museum on 18th Street.
Early Chicago families made beautiful quilts to keep them warm. Learn about historic block patterns and recreate one. Or design your own!
June 23: Japanese Leather
The Glessner dining room is decorated with dimensional wallpaper that looks like hand-tooled leather. Use it as inspiration to design your own colorful embossed papers.
June 30: Basket Weaving
Native American families and early settlers wove baskets to carry and store food or other supplies. Learn how to weave a real reed basket.
July 7: Hooked Rugs
Thrifty Chicago families used scraps of wool to create pretty rugs for their homes. Make a mini version of a primitive hooked rug.
July 14: Picture Frames
Isaac Scott designed most of the picture frames in the Glessner house. Design your own frame for a photograph or artwork.
July 21: Stained Glass Windows
Second Presbyterian Church is brightened by beautiful stained glass windows. Create your own colorful design to hang in a window at home.
July 28: Decorative Tiles
Designer William De Morgan crafted many of the fireplace tiles used at Glessner House. Decorate a fancy tile for your home.
August 4: Band Boxes
The Clarke family stored their belongings in paper-covered boxes. Construct a band box from wallpaper scraps to keep your own treasures safe.