Chicago has so many museums to see, but I was only there for a day and a half. I was just in Detroit Institute of Arts a day ago, I’m already conked out of seeing more art. We had to find a museum that was the perfect balance of quick, interesting, and unique. While looking around Google Maps, we saw the Richard Driehaus Museum and chose that museum.
The museum is housed in the Nickerson House made in 1883. It was originally owned by Samuel Nickerson, a banker. It was almost demolished but saved by Chicago residents and donated to the American College of Surgeons, until it was eventually bought by the philanthropist Richard Driehaus in 2003.
The museum contains Richard Driehaus’ collections through time, while also showing some pieces owned by the Nickerson family. While the mansion has been restored when it was purchased, the interiors were preserved as much as possible. I enjoyed looking closely with the walls because of how intricate the details are!
The dining room was my favorite part of the exhibit and even comes with a menu for what’s traditionally served during the mansion’s heyday.
Another beautiful part of the home is the library. It was a massive room and the stained glass ceiling is a sight to behold.
Unfortunately, there’s not much personal stuff from the Nickerson family in the museum. When the mansion was turned over to the American College of Surgeons, the stuff inside the house was sold. Obviously, back then they didn’t know how important the house would be today.
The museum came with lots of information and an app you can download to help you know more about what’s displayed, but their staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about pretty much anything in the museum, whether it’s Richard Driehaus or the Nickerson family (that’s how I knew why they don’t have much personal stuff preserved).
If you’re interested in original Chicago history, seeing works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the art nouveau style, or looking for something to do in the day, it’s so worth dropping by the museum. I would suggest getting a guided tour to get more out of your visit!
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
40 East Erie Street, Chicago
Thursdays: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM (No Guided Tours)
Friday & Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Guided tours: 10:30, 1:30, 3:30).
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Guided tours: 12:00, 3:00)
Tickets are $20 for Adults (discounts available for students and seniors, while children, active military, and members are Free).