Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Gilded Age (Part II)

In 1883 when the Nickerson home was new it looked like this:

Five years later in 1888, the sandstone facade has absorbed pollutants so it looks like this.

By the time Richard Driehaus bought the house in 2003 it looked like this, caked with layers of pollutants that had caused damage to the stone and the embellishments.

The whole house was cleaned by a laser technique and where there was water damage it was repaired until it looks like this today:

Not about gardens but it is about beauty.  There was a beautiful conservatory and garden at this home but the College of Surgeons eradicated this area of the home and built an office right next door to the mansion.  If you open a door in the Driehaus Mansion you see the wall of the College of Surgeons.  Don't you wonder how these things can happen?

Let's go back inside, there are a few more things to see!

This is the drawing room adjacent to the living room, note the satinwood piano on the left.

Detail on the side of the satinwood piano

There is a large ballroom on the third floor flanked with guest bedrooms on each side.

Mr. Nickerson purchased these large bronze statues at the Comumbian Exposition in 1893 and they remained with the home through the various owners.  They have never moved from the end of the second floor.

Some of the floors are quarter sawn oak and also in wonderful condition.

The Lincrusta wallpaper is also original to the smoking room with glass half circles above it.

Brass trim is worked into many of the wood doors.

A most unusual Tiffany with splashes of color

The Nickerson home was built for $450,000 over a three year period.  Many craftsmen had come from Europe after the Chicago fire so several were readily available to work on this 25,000 square foot home.  It is estimated that in today's market the cost would be $100 million.