This historic lakeside mansion that is now a museum was constructed in 1917. The elegant structure was designed to follow the historic lines of Le Petit Trianon, a French chateau on the grounds of Versailles completed in 1770 by architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, and remembered as the playhouse of Marie Antoinette. The architect Howard Van Doren Shaw was hired to design the mansion with modifications including a fourth floor and a carriage drive. Original interior finishes of polished limestone, Italian marble, decorative plaster, brass fixtures and hardware, eight stone fireplaces, and a gilded metal staircase are among the features which have been preserved. After several years of renovating the building and forming the Museum collection, the Museum opened its doors to the public in 1954. One of the few remaining lakefront mansions in Chicago, and the only one open to the public, the building received historic status in 1988, and is listed in the National Register and the Illinois Register of Historic Places and is a City of Chicago Landmark. The mansion is one of “Seven Houses on Lakeshore Drive,” a grouping of seven historically significant Chicago mansions on the lakefront. All private events include the use of all four floors of the Museum. Capacities - Evening Cocktail Reception: Maximum 200 guests - Seated Dinner Reception: Maximum 100 guests - Wedding Ceremony: Maximum 100 guests - Business Meeting or Luncheon: Maximum 100 guests - Seated Theatre-style Presentation: Maximum 100 guests Museum Event Staff The Museum provides two employees for each event for assistance. Staff assists with greeting visitors, providing parking validation, providing gift shop assistance and coordinating with caterers and vendors throughout the night. To enhance your guests’ experience, Museum staff will be available to informally interpret the art and artifact collections, exhibitions, and the history of the building. Pricing & Availability The Museum is available for private events seven days a week. Evening events can start at 6:00 PM with set up starting at 4:00 PM. Rentals starting before 6:00 AM or ending past midnight are at a rate of $1,000 per hour. We also offer the Museum as a meeting or luncheon space during Museum hours, in which case we close the second floor to visitors during the rental time. For nonprofit organizations, we have a discounted rate of $500 per hour. Table and Chair Rental Tables and chairs are not included in the rental price. We have six 6-foot tables with tablecloths and seven highboy tables and folding or banquet chairs for rent that can be rented for $35 per table and $5 per chair. Tables and chairs can also be rented through our approved vendors. Accessibility The Museum has two indoor ramps and an elevator. A wheelchair accessible entrance is located on the north side of the building. Guest Parking Guest parking is not available. Street parking is extremely limited. The Museum validates parking for several nearby public parking lots which provide guests with an hourly discount. See Directions & Parking for more information. Hiring shuttle service or valet is recommended.
To ensure the success of your event, the Museum has an approved list of vendors that includes Chicago’s preeminent caterers. All approved vendors have been selected for their high standards and quality of service to use our historic space. Additional vendors may be considered pending alignment with the Museum's Facility Use Guidelines and Policies. Decorations and Candles Décor and candles can be added to any event with Museum approval. Open flames are not permitted in the Museum. Votive candles are acceptable for use on tables and fireplace mantles. Smoking is not allowed within 15 feet of the building.
Amazing Space. We used it for a team photoshoot and the location was absolutely perfect. Michelle was a great host and very accommodating to our needs. I'd definitely book the space again.