Like the Nickerson Mansion, the residences in Chicago's Mansions represent this beautiful city's past and their important connection to its future. It can even be said that this architecture is the very embodiment of Chicago.
These fashionable residences were built to make a statement. And what better way to have done this than to employ a leading architect of the time - Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Hobson Richardson, Daniel Burnham, John Wellborn Root - to design them. While the city's mansions are significant because of who built them, they are just as important because of who lived in them. Many of these mansions were built for Chicago's elite businessmen and captains of industry - men who represented old money, new money and big money - and their civic-minded families who transformed Chicago through trade, innovation and philanthropy. While not all of these architectural masterpieces still stand today, their bold legacy is imprinted forever in Chicago's history.
John Graf is a Chicago historian who is the author of two other books in Arcadia's Images of America series: Chicago's Parks and Chicago's Monuments, Markers, and Memorials.