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“a taste of the Gilded Age” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Richard H. Driehaus Museum
40 E. Erie St., Chicago, IL 60611 (Near North Side)
312 482 8933
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Ranked #5 of 307 Attractions in Chicago
Type: Museums
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Take a step back in time to the Gilded Age with banker Samuel Nickerson's mansion. Explore all three floors of the museum and discover how the Nickerson family lived and socialized. The museum is closed on Mondays. Tours are an extra $5, but well worth it.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
“a taste of the Gilded Age”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

This is a very expensively restored town home of a late 19th century Chicago banker on the near north side (Wabash & Erie). It was built after the Chicago Fire and was done on the rule that 'cost is no object.' It was restored painstakingly about ten years ago and is now open for viewing It is truly a model of what went for good taste in the Gilded Age. If you like IKEA furnishings, don't go. They have restored most of the rooms to the original design including some original furniture; some circa 1900 upgrades put in by the second owner allow, among other things for electric light. The rooms are all finished off (paint, wood, wallpapers, etc) but the bedrooms do not contain beds or other furniture.

The building's basement was not open, and when we visited, the access to the 3rd floor was technically limited because a concert was to be given there--but a staff member did take us up which gave a chance to see the ballroom and a bedroom with historic photos. Mrs. 420 is a fashion and design fan and pronounced the entire museum to be a 'must see.'

Access is by an outside staircase, and stairs connect the floors; but there is a wheelchair entrance posted and there is an elevator at the side of the building. I did not ask about this and am still not sure how fully accessible it is, as we had to walk up four stairs to reach the elevator from the 1st floor. Presumably they have some arrangement.

Tours are given twice a day and are said to be very interesting, but our time schedule did not allow us to stay for that. There is talk of a gift shop opening but sometime into the future.

The entrance fee for seniors was $12.50: I think the regular was $20. $5 added for the tour. The Chicago Card gets a reduced rate for entry--an option we did not take.

Visited February 2013
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2 reviews
“Beautiful!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

Stunning restorations in this beautiful treasure. The only disappointment was that the rooms were mostly empty of day to day furnishings. Thats what I loved at Biltmore, seeing the furniture in the rooms and being able to dream about what life must have been like then. I hope they have plans to add this.

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Barry, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Nice experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

We enjoyed visiting this 19th century home. It is hard to believe that people lived like this during this time period. The tour guide was very good and the tour is definitely worth the extra money.

Visited January 2013
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Boston, Massachusetts
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Do Not Miss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

This is a fully restored turn of the century mansion that has been fully restored and is now a museum. Most of the furniture is original and you will be floored by the opulence. Tiffany glass and silver everywhere, 17 types of marble, this place is insane. We went on the self guided tour but I will return for a guided tour at some point, it was that cool.

Visited January 2013
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Merrillville, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Must See”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

We visited here yesterday and were very impressed with our guide LISA. She is outstanding and has only been there for nine months. She is a part timer but is very people oriented. The house is fantastic. There is also a parking garage that will validate your parking ticket so the cost is only ten dollars, and you can park there for several hours.

Visited January 2013
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