My apartment is located on land previously owned by H. J. Heinz. His mansion was torn down in the 1920’s, but the coach house still exists. Nearby is Westinghouse Park, once the location of the George Westinghouse mansion. Within walking distance is Clayton (left), the home of Henry Clay Frick. This house is open for tours and gives a wonderful picture of Victorian life among the wealthy. At this time of year the house is open to visitors without taking a tour. I spent several hours this afternoon looking at the rooms and talking to the docents. I was the only visitor at the time and felt very privileged.
I don’t recall ever feeling so close to history in Chicago. The very rich here in Pittsburgh seem to have left much more to the public than the Swifts or Armours, McCormicks or Palmers. Or is it that Chicago has done a better job of destroying its past. My feeling about the past in Chicago is best exemplified by the plaque identifying Fort Dearborn. It is located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive. Of course neither street existed at the time and the fort was actually located about 30 or 40 feet below at the point where the Chicago River then flowed into Lake Michigan, which happens today about a half mile further east.