Backstory and Context
During the early-1910s, Caswell A. Sharpe, a prominent Chicago area realtor, commissioned architect Charles E. White, Jr. to construct a home for his family. When completed in 1913, Sharpe’s 2.5 story, 12,000-square-foot mansion became one of the largest residences in the Village of Oak Park. With six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a paneled library, several reception rooms, separate servants’ quarters, and sophisticated interior materials. The house was designed to emulate an English country manor, and it sat on elegantly landscaped 2.2 acres. White previously worked as an architect in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park studio and was clearly influenced by Wright’s ideology that a building should reflect its natural surroundings. The Sharpes remained in the house until 1921.In 1922, Andrew and Mary Hooker Dole purchased the estate and lived there until their deaths. In the late 1940’s, the Dole’s niece Elizabeth Cheney inherited the property and resided in the mansion until her death in 1985. Prior to her death, Cheney bequeathed the mansion to the Park District of Oak Park. The house now bears the name of Cheney. Today, the elegance of Cheney Mansion has been preserved and it is a highly sought-after event space. The Cheney Mansion is a contributing member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District, and designated a local landmark in 2004.
History of Cheney Mansion. Cheney Mansion. December 21, 2018. http://www.cheneymansion.com/cheney_history/.
About Cheney Mansion. Cheney Mansion. December 21, 2018. http://www.cheneymansion.com/about/.
Cheney Mansion. Chicago Open House. December 21, 2018. https://openhousechicago.org/sites/site/cheney-mansion/.
History of the Park District of Oak Park. Park District of Oak Park. December 21, 2018. https://www.pdop.org/about/history/.