Glessner House 

Glessner House by William Zbaren

A National Historic Landmark, Glessner House was designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson and completed in 1887. It remains an internationally-known architectural treasure in Chicago. A radical departure from traditional Victorian architecture, the structure served as an inspiration to architects such as Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and the young Frank Lloyd Wright and helped redefine domestic architecture.  

The Glessners and Olmsteds became good friends after being introduced to each other by Richardson in 1885. During the early 1890s, the Glessners’ son George and Frederick Law Olmsted’s son Rick developed a close friendship during their years at Harvard; Mary Olmsted referred to George as her “adopted son,” and he had his own key to Fairsted.  

Olmsted, and later his sons, planned and supervised the extensive gardens at the Glessners’ summer estate, The Rocks, in New Hampshire. During the planning of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Olmsted often stayed in the Glessners’ guestroom. Olmsted’s portrait always hung on the wall of the home and remains there to this day. 


    Glessner House parlor by James Caulfield

    Courtyard by James Caulfield

    Courtyard by Angela B. Garbot

    Olmsted Bicentennial Gala in 2022 by Victoria Vanhuss