August 30, 2017
TAWANI Foundation today announced a $150,000 donation to the Glessner House Museum, an architecturally important 19th-century residence located at 1800 S. Prairie Avenue on Chicago’s South Side. Prairie Avenue once ranked as one of Chicago’s most prestigious residential streets.
The $150,000 contribution will be allocated at $50,000 per year over three years. The gift complements donations made by the Alphawood Foundation and Driehaus Foundation, bringing the total commitment to the Glessner House Museum preservation to $500,000.
The John and Frances Glessner House, which operates as the Glessner House Museum, was designed in 1885 and 1886 by prominent America architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The house is recognized nationwide for its groundbreaking architecture and important collection of arts and crafts decorative arts. In 1970, the Museum was designated as a Chicago Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1976, named as a National Historic Landmark.
The house offers one of the most innovative floor plans and designs of its time. The walls of the house are pushed close to the lot lines, allowing for a spacious private courtyard within. The courtyard allows abundant natural light to enter the main rooms of the house through south-facing windows, and also provides a level of privacy rarely achieved in urban residences. A long servant hall sits along the north side of the house, buffering the family spaces from the noise of 18th Street and the brutal winter winds.
The exterior of the house is clad in Braggville granite, laid in courses of various heights, giving the house a strong horizontal appearance. Ornamentation is minimal, and includes an arch of stylized foliage over the front entrance and a series of carved capitals on the second-floor columns.
“The recent gift from the TAWANI Foundation is the latest contribution in our giving to organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting our architectural and cultural heritage,” said retired Lt. Col. Jennifer Pritzker, and president and founder of the TAWANI Foundation. “Our commitment to the Glessner Museum will do more than just preserve our…