About the Driehaus Museum

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum immerses visitors in one of the grandest residential buildings of 19th-century Chicago, the Gilded Age home of banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson. Philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus founded the museum on April 1, 2003 with a vision to influence today’s built environment by preserving and promoting architecture and design of the past. To realize his vision, Mr. Driehaus commissioned a five-year restoration effort to preserve the structure and its magnificent interiors. Today the galleries feature surviving furnishings paired with elegant, historically-appropriate pieces from the Driehaus Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts, including important works by such celebrated designers as Herter Brothers and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Today, the Museum is a premier example of historic preservation, offering visitors an opportunity to experience through its architecture, interiors, collection, and exhibitions how the prevailing design philosophies of the period were interpreted by artists, architects, and designers at the waning of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century.

Preservation

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum embodies the highest ideals of preservation, conservation, and restoration. Between 2003 and 2008, Richard H. Driehaus supported a meticulous restoration of the historic Samuel M. Nickerson House. Read more

The History of the Samuel M. Nickerson Mansion

In 1879, Chicago banker Samuel Mayo Nickerson commissioned a new house from the architectural firm of Burling and Whitehouse of Chicago. Read more