Saturday, February 2, 2008

Marshall Field Jr. Mansion

Marshall Field Jr. Mansion

On November 21, 1890, the famous Marshall Field, a man who represented the greatest wealth in Chicago, purchased the property for his newly married son, Marshall Field Jr., for $65,000. In fact, the elder Marshall Field lived right next door — at 1905 South Prairie — in one of the largest and most spectacular mansions that Chicago had ever seen. The Fields thereafter hired D.H. Burnham & Co., founded by Daniel Burnham himself, to design and build extensive additions on the 1919 South Prairie Avenue home for the young Marshall Field and his family. Architect Daniel Burnham’s work is world renowned, and includes the first Marshall Field’s department store, several well-known high rise buildings, the overall design and construction for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and he drafted The Plan of Chicago, the nation’s first comprehensive urban planning document. His design for Marshall Field Jr. was a spectacular mansion fashioned of red sandstone and brick, built in the popular Queen Anne style.

When completed in 1902, the mansion included a main house consisting of five distinct sections boasting forty-three rooms, nine bathrooms and fourteen fireplaces, and a separate attached carriage house where Marshall Field Jr. kept the most prestigious collection of horses and carriages on Prairie Avenue. The mansion, containing nearly 30,000 square feet, has since been described as "Picturesque," with essential components of a Richardsonian Romanesque style.

The Mansion Today

Today, more than 100 years later, UrbanStreet Properties, LLC is rebuilding this significant landmark location to its original grandeur. The mansion will contain six spectacular, one-of-a-kind residences. Each will have a floor plan unlike any other in Chicago, abound in luxury finishes, offer indoor parking and will incorporate a distinct remnant of the past, such as a massive fireplace or a rotunda foyer.

As copied from The Marshall Field Jr Mansion Website.

Hope told me that there is a story about this house which is surprisingly no where to be found on the website. Here's the story as found on Chicago Hauntings -
In 1905, Marshall Field, Jr. was found shot to death in the bedroom of his own home on Chicago's Prairie Avenue, reportedly the result of a self-inflicted shotgun shot. Field's family told police the death had been an accident: Marshall had been cleaning a hunting weapon when it accidentally discharged. Neighbors weren't so sure, however, and the press soon leaked rumors of Field's longtime dealings in the old Levee vice district, where Chinatown sprawls today. Had Field taken his own life to bow out of some untoward matter at Chicago's most prestigious brothel, the Everleigh Club? No one really knows, but we do know that for a century the enormous Field, Jr. house (known as the Murray house from its first owner) stood abandoned: no one, it seems, could live in it.
There are also rumors that every company run in this house went out of business- supposedly it's cursed. Despite all the hullabaloo, this is definitely a house I'd LOVE to live or have a studio in, and if I ever have money enough, I will. That's just me though...

1 comment:

don said...

What an impressive design and example of turn=of-century architecture. Your shot shows its elegance very well. Nice shooting. The comment is very interesting including the rumors! :-)