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Chicago Historical Society II
Life Span: 1877-1892
Location: NW Corner of Ontario and Dearborn Streets
Architect: F. M. Whitehouse with Burling & Ader
Chicago Tribune May 17, 1877
PLANS OF THE FUTURE BUILDING
In the account of the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Historical Society, published in THE TRIBUNE the other day, it was stated that the Committee had decided to commence in a short time the erection of a temporary building, 40×70 feet. This structure, while denominated “temporary,” will be in reality be the rear end of the north wing of the building of the future, the only thing necessary to make the connection between the two being the knocking-out of the wall facing Dearborn street. The cost of the nucleus will be about $7,000; that of the whole edifice somewhere in the neighborhood of $120,000. The plans for both have been drawn by Mr. F. M. Whitehouse, with Burling & Adler, and the Committee, has accepted them. Work on the “temporary” building will be commenced on the 1st prox., and it will be completed within ninety days. When the erection of the main structure will be begun is as yet uncertain, since the money needed will not be available until the Gilpin bequest is paid to the Society. The Committee, however, though there has has been next to nothing said about it, will probably anticipate these funds, and borrow money and erect
The only extant pictures of the Chicago Historical Society’s “temporary building” (1877-1892),
Dearborn and Ontario streets.
Right: Andreas’ “History of Chicago”
THE GILPIN SECTION
as soon as possible. This part, which will be distinct from the other, being separated from it by iron doors so as to make it “fire-proof,” will have a frontage on Ontario street of 103 feet, and on Dearborn street of thirty-seven feet. The remainder—eighty-three feet—on the latter thoroughfare, making the frontage 120 feet, will be paid for out of the Society’s other funds.
The edifice when completed will be three stories in height, with an ornamented Mansard roof. The exterior will be composite Gothic or a rather ornate style, constructed of brick with red sandstone trimmings, and an introduction of tile. On the corner will be a tower seventy-feet high. The entrance on Dearborn street—one is also contemplated on Ontario street, but its location has not yet been agreed upon—will be of quite a new character, being a projection octagon in form with a groined gable into a tower, finished with a cresting, extending about twenty-five feet above the roof.
The first-story windows will be in groups with depressed arch tops; those in the second story will be Gothic, of considerable size, in groups; and those above the same, with detached columns between.
The Gilpin department, or section, will embrace the library, reading, Directors’, and Secretary’s rooms, and a large lecture hall 37x??? feet, with a trussed-roof ceiling thirty-feet high. The books, etc., purchased by the Gilpin Fund will be kept in this part; and there will be commodious vaults for the storing of valuable articles.
The other, or north section, will also have reading-rooms, magazine-rooms, and lecture-halls; and theb third floor will be used for storing and arranging specimens.
It If the present designs are used the edifice will be an ornament to the North Side, and one of the prettiest buildings in the city. It is hoped, therefore, that the Committee will conclude to begin its construction as soon as possible.
Announcement for the First Meeting in the new Chicago Historical Society building taking place on October 16, 1877.
Announcement that the new building for the Chicago Historical Society is now open to the public.
Location of the “Temporary” Chicago Historical Society Building
NW Corner Dearborn and Orleans Streets
Robinson Fire Maps, 1886
Volume 3, Plate 8