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Clarke House Museum, Chicago

#36 of 48 in Museums in Chicago
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago’s oldest house. The house shows what life was like for a family in Chicago during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when Chicago received its city charter and much of the area was still undeveloped prairie.

Over the years, the house survived fires, belonged to a church, and was moved twice – during the second move, the house was stuck in the air for two weeks. The house is now located in the Chicago Women’s Park in the Prairie Avenue Historic District, and operated as a museum by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, furnished through the generosity of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Illinois.

Learn more about this gracious Greek Revival style house and plan your visit today.
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Clarke House Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
22 reviews
  • Yesterday I had the privilege of touring the Clarke House in Chicago. This historic old building is beautiful. More impressive than the building was the tour guide Brenda Bohen’s knowledge of the...  more »
  • We went during one of the scheduled tours of the house. The tour guide was not available, but there was a limited number of audio tour devices.Latecomers could view the house's exhibits without the...  more »
  • The tour is good and goes over the history of the house, especially the Clarke Family and takes you through most of the house with the notable exception of the cupola. The house has been restored to what they think it may have looked liked originally and is overall well done. It is a little known piece of Chicago history that is waiting for people to go and visit.
  • Great tour and it's free of charge! Loved the house, and the docent was extremely knowledgeable and interesting. Though the Clarke's furniture and artifacts have been lost over time, the home has been painstakingly restored to period authenticity and truly gives a feel for 19th century life in a great house. Definitely one of Chicago's best kept secrets.

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