Completed in 1913, the Cheney Mansion was designed by Charles E. White, Jr. for Caswell A. Sharpe, a prominent Chicago realtor. White, who once worked alongside Frank Lloyd Wright in his Oak Park Office, is one of Chicago’s underrated and lesser-known architects. The Cheney Mansion is considered White’s defining works. The Caswells lived in the mansion until 1921. The following year, 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. 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.
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.