Peak into the Past with Driehaus’ Grandes Dames of McCormickville

Driehaus Museum

The Driehaus Museum is beautiful enough to keep you in awe, but if you’ve walked around the neighborhood you’ll notice a lot of the buildings look as old as the Driehaus. The Grandes Dames of McCormickville walking tour reveals some of the history of the area.

This walking tour focuses on seven civic-minded female entrepreneurs who lived in McCormickville. These women left an impact on Chicago that is still felt today.

When banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson commissioned his Gilded-Age mansion, now home of the Driehaus Museum, in Chicago he chose McCormickville, now Near North, as its location. At that time McCormickville–named after Cyrus H. McCormick who also had a home there and invented the mechanical reaper–was similar to what Evanston, Il. is today where the rich would live and be close to the city but with enough distance from the city center. At that time Lake Michigan reached to Michigan Ave. and much of the city center was further south.

The Grandes Dames of McCormickville walking tour takes place Saturdays through October 15 at 10:30 a.m. leaving from the Driehaus Museum, 40 E. Erie St. The tour alone is $20 or you can spend $30 and get the tour plus admission to the museum. The tour is 75 minutes so wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen. For more information visit

Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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