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Frances Willard House Museum (Rest Cottage)

This is an archived listing.


1728 Chicago Ave.




Andrew Jackson Downing & Josiah Willard, 1865


Built in 1865, this traditional Gothic Revival family home evolved into a living and working space for notable women’s advocate and social justice crusader, Frances Willard. Designed by her father using a Victorian house pattern book, the home features traditional Gothic elements such as board-and-batten siding and decorative carved bargeboards below the eaves. Under Willard’s leadership as the president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), one of the largest women’s organizations in the latter half of the 19th century, the house expanded into an unofficial headquarters for the organization and an early working space dedicated to women’s issues and social justice. Recently restored to its 1890s appearance, it is now operated as the oldest house museum in America dedicated to the life and work of a woman.

Archived In

2015 , 2016 , 2017