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The Clarke House is Chicago's oldest surviving residential structure and is located at 1827 S. Indiana Avenue. The Clarke House is owned by the City of Chicago, furnished by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois, and operated by the Glessner House Museum. This unique partnership enables visitors to explore early Chicago history and daily life in the mid-nineteenth century. Our period of interpretation is 1853-1860, the years following a major remodeling of the house by Mrs. Caroline Palmer Clarke.
Clarke House is in its third location as the centerpiece of the Chicago Women's Park and Gardens. The four-acre oasis at the center of the Prairie Avenue Historic District was designed by Chicago landscape architect Mimi McKay. Dedicated in 1998, the park commemorates the achievements of significant Chicago women, including Mrs. Clarke. The Chicago Women's Park and Gardens features a central fountain and plant-life indigenous to the era when the Clarke House was built. The gardens feature perennials, culinary and medicinal herbs, dye and scent plants, an orchard, heirloom vegetables, prairie grasses, and a formal rose garden. Plots to the south of Clarke House are tended by volunteers, members of a local South Loop gardening club.
We hope you enjoy learning more about this unique home. Consider scheduling a visit to Clarke House. We are open Wednesday through Sunday and offer tours at 12p.m. and 2p.m. While you're in the area, please schedule a tour of Glessner House, the Richardsonian Romanesque mansion of John and Frances Glessner, located right next door.
For tour information on both Clarke House and Glessner House contact: Glessner House Tour Center
1800 S. Prairie Avenue Chicago, IL 60616