Milestones

1879

Construction begins on a new home for Chicago banker Samuel M. Nickerson, commissioned from the architectural firm of Burling and Whitehouse.

1883

The house is completed on the corner of Erie and Cass Street (today Wabash Avenue) at a cost of $450,000.

1900

Lucius George Fisher purchases the Nickerson mansion for $75,000.

1900-1

Prairie School architect George Washington Maher redesigns the Sculpture Gallery; new features include a stained-glass dome and prominent cherry fireplace with iridescent stained-glass tiles.

1919

The Nickerson mansion is donated to the American College of Surgeons for use as its national headquarters.

1976

The Samuel M. Nickerson House is added to the National Register of Historic Places.

2003

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is founded within the historic mansion by businessman, philanthropist, and collector Richard H. Driehaus.

2003-08

The mansion undergoes an extensive restoration under founding director M. Kirby Talley, Jr.

June 8, 2008

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum opens to the public.

2008

The Driehaus Museum receives the Chicago Landmark Award for Preservation Excellence.

2010

The Driehaus Museum launches its inaugural season of the Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series, a program dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of historic architecture and design.

2012

The Driehaus Museum reaches 20,000 annual visitors.

2013

The Driehaus Museum opens its inaugural exhibition, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection.

2014

The Driehaus Museum opens its second exhibition, Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry.


Photo by John Faier for the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, 2013.

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