Friday, February 4, 2011

Visiting the Glessner House Requires a Guided Tour

If you are planning on visiting Glessner House and/or Clarke House, there are two ways that you can plan to do it – joining a regular public tour or scheduling a custom tour.

Public Tours

On Wednesdays through Sundays, we offer docent-led guided tours that last approximately one hour of Glessner House, as well as Clarke House, the City's oldest surviving building, located in the adjacent Chicago Women's Park and Gardens.  All tours begin at the Tour Center, located at Glessner House, which opens at 11:30am.  Clarke House Museum tours are at Noon and 2:00pm, and Glessner House Museum tours are at 1:00 and 3:00pm.  (For further information on the history and architecture of the Clarke House, which is owned by the City of Chicago and furnished by The National Society of The Colonial Dames in America in the State of Illinois, please visit

We are open year-round, except for major holidays - Easter Sunday, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day [and maybe the occasion snow day!]

Admission to the museums is FREE on Wednesdays, but spaces are filled on a first-come, first-serve, walk-in basis, and group sizes are limited to 15 people.  These tours do fill-up quickly, particularly in the summer, and we recommend that visitors arrive early, even arriving when the Tour Center opens at 11:30am, to reserve their spot on a tour.

On Thursdays through Sundays, the fees to tour one house are:  Adult - $10.00; Student/Senior - $9.00; and Children (ages 5 -12) - $6.00.  To tour both houses:  Adult - $15.00; Student/Senior - $12.00; and Children - $8.00.  There is no charge for children under 5 years of age or for members of the Glessner House Museum.  We accept VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.  If you have a smart-phone app where you can “check-in” on Facebook, you can receive $2.00 off admission.  There are also other coupons, like two-for-one admissions, to be found if you search on tourism websites.

Custom Tours

Tours of the Glessner House, Clarke House, and the Prairie Avenue Historic District are all available to groups that schedule a custom tour.  Group of ten or more are required to schedule a custom tour.  Groups larger than 15 people will be divided into smaller groups for touring purposes, but will be accommodated within the same time frame.  The fee per person is based on the number of people in the group and which tour(s) are taken.  Custom tours can be given any day of the week, but the free day policy does not apply to custom tours occurring on Wednesdays.

For a special treat, bring a group for an intimate behind-the-scenes tour of Glessner House Museum with our Executive Director & Curator, who will take you on a private tour through areas of H. H. Richardson's "urban masterpiece" that are not shown to the general public.  Get an up-close and personal look at favorite objects in our collection, experience the rooms from a different perspective, and view collections rarely seen by general museum visitors.  These tours are are available by appointment only and are limited to eight people.

Please contact the Museum Coordinator at 312-326-1480 for more information or to schedule a custom tour.

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