Daniel Thompson Mansion
Life Span: 1869-1915
Location: 1936 S. Prairie.
Architect: Lavall B. Dixon
The Chicago City Railway superintendent, Daniel Thompson, had architect Lavall Dixon build one of the first homes on Prairie Avenue in 1869. The residence was the tallest on the street due to its 75-foot tower and along with its 193 feet of frontage made this home very imposing.
It cost $100,000 which was, at the time, the most ever paid for any house in Chicago.
This house was sold and purchased by Samuel Allerton, one of the founders of the Union Stock Yards, in 1879. The house was torn down in 1915, a year after Mr. Allerton passed away.
Samuel’s son, Robert Allerton, who had a lifelong passion for garden design, sculpture, and landscape architecture had already expressed it at “The Farms” estate and sculpture gardens in Illinois (now Robert Allerton Park). His long-time partner (adopted as his son due to a then loophole in Illinois adoption laws, subsequently changed) John Gregg Allerton had studied architecture at the University of Illinois in the 1920s. In 1938 they came to Hawai’i and purchased a relatively small portion of Queen Emma’s plantation for a residence and gardens. They quickly began designing the landscape master plan and individual gardens, incorporating Hawai’ian and new plants they had acquired from tropical Asia and other Pacific Islands, built landscape elements, and sculptures from “The Farms.”