Clarke House is the oldest surviving structure within Chicago's original 1837 boundaries. It has operated as a house museum for over 30 years. It interprets the early history of Chicago and the city's extraordinary growth in the years leading up to the Civil War. Built for Henry and Caroline Clarke in 1836, the house is a classic example of Greek Revival architecture. Its elegant style represents the family's attempt to bring culture to the largely-undeveloped prairie. Over the years, the house has survived fires, belonged to a church, and was physically moved twice. During the second move, to its present site in the Chicago Women’s Park, the house was stuck in the air for two weeks. The house is furnished with beautiful period antiques from the collection of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Illinois, and is now operated by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Tour the first floor of this house museum to see significant architectural features, including parlors and family living spaces decorated in period furnishings.