4 Little-Known Facts About the Driehaus Museum

Built in 1883, it’s not just a historical landmark but a time capsule telling the story of Chicago.

Driehaus Museum Main Hall. Photo Credit: John Faier.
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Featuring Gilded Age furniture and magnicent stained glass, this historical house-turned- museum has an incredible story to tell.

Fact 1

The generous use of marble in the main hall gained the mansion its nickname, “The Marble Palace.” In fact, seventeen different types of marble, as well as onyx and alabaster, adorn this dramatic entrance.

Fact 2

The mansion’s first owners, the Nickerson family, were actively involved in the celebration of World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. They hosted a reception for 800 guests celebrating the event.

Fact 3

Samuel Nickerson was a founding member of what would later become the Art Institute of Chicago. When the family moved back to the East Coast, the Nickersons donated their entire art collection to the burgeoning museum.

Fact 4

The Nickerson’s first home burned down in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. When it was rebuilt, it held claim that it was one of the first fire-proof homes in the country.