The John J. Glessner House, operated as the Glessner House, is an architecturally important 19th-century residence located at 1800 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. It was designed in 1885–1886 by architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in late 1887. The property was designated a Chicago Landmark on October 14, 1970. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 17, 1970, and as a National Historic Landmark on January 7, 1976, and is maintained as a house museum.
John Jacob Glessner (1843–1936) was a partner in the firm of Warder, Bushnell & Glessner, a farm machinery manufacturer headquartered in Springfield, Ohio. Immediately after his marriage in 1870 to Frances Macbeth, Glessner relocated to Chicago where he opened a branch office. In 1902, the firm and four others, including firms controlled by J. P. Morgan, Cyrus McCormick, and James Deering, merged to form International Harvester (now known as Navistar International Corporation), which became the fourth largest corporation in the country. Glessner was appointed vice president and continued in that capacity for many years. He died in 1936 at the age of 92. John Glessner was the father of two children; his son George died as a young man and his daughter became the forensic scientist Frances Glessner Lee.
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Christian Devotionals | Jan 26, 2018
Everyone was excellent, from the tour guide to her assistant. Knowledgeable with stories. I only wish they had a bit more content given the cost of entry. A visit to the Fifa office across the street, which is located in a house that is a contemporary of the Glessner House, would be a welcome addition.
Martha Geppert | Jan 23, 2018
If you enjoy history and seeing how people loved in the 19th century, this is a beautiful preserved home of a prominent Chicago family. Unusual because the contents were preserved by family members, so you are seeing the house as it truly was when the Glessner family lived here.
Tina Mulkey | Feb 6, 2018
It was a lovely space for the private event I attended. It's a rustic, but warm feel.
Mike McNally | Jun 16, 2017
If you're into house museums, this one is definitely worth a visit. Located a little ways south of the Loop, about a 25 minute walk from the Museum Campus, it's a remnant of a once-regal neighborhood. In that respect, the house stands out as being distinctly out of step. Inside, the house is architecturally fascinating, with lots of dramatic design features. Lots of beautiful (though restrained, especially in comparison to what you'd see at the Driehaus museum) woodwork throughout, and a bright airy design that exploits natural light. The tours include the facilities for the house staff, something that always scores points with me. It's pretty big so the tour lasts an hour or more. Our tour guide was delightfully enthusiastic and quite knowledgeable. One of my favorite house museums ever.
Robert H. | Aug 1, 2017
This is a hidden gem. Not only a unique piece of American architecture, but a time capsule of the original furnishings. Whether you enjoy Chicago history or a fan of architecture the Glessner House is a must see. I have visited several times the past twenty years and there is always something new to see. It seems they have been restoring several rooms the past few years. These are great tours!
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