"Cuneo Mansion - Artsy Highlife in the North 'Burbs" Vernon Hills by yooperprof

Vernon Hills Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 21 photos

There are probably scores of millionaire's homes in the north Chicago suburbs that are bigger or more elaborate than the Cuneo Mansion in Vernon Hills, but very few of them (surely) can reveal as interesting a story and reflect such interesting early 20th century cultured taste.

Moreover, the Cuneo Mansion is presently owned and operated by Loyola University of Chicago, which not only runs the tours and schedules the weddings and maintains the gardens, but which also uses the home and its surroundings as a vast "living history project" for its History students and faculty.

Actually, you may be "underwhelmed" by the appearance of the mansion once you pay the admission fee and drive up to the house - which is not visible from the public road. I was! The fašade of the building says "typical suburban villa" to me, and does not prepare the visitor for the fascinating rooms and furnishings to be found within. The exterior design of house can not be judged a success - poorly proportioned, and the shudders are just awful, IMHO.

On the other hand, the central court inside the house was one of the best ideas of the original architect, Benjamin Marshall (1874-1940), who was also responsible for the Drake Hotel downtown. It reminds me of an Italian Renaissance palazzo

Early twentieth century Chicago was home to some very fine artists and craftsmen, many of whom worked here at the Mansion. The stained glass windows in the Chapel are a real highlight.

  • Last visit to Vernon Hills: May 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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