Widow Clarke House

When the Henry B. Clarkes migrated to Chicago in 1835 from Utica, New York, it was a small frontier town. Mr. Clarke chose land to build on that had access only via an old Indian trail which would later become south Michigan Avenue. In 1836 they built this Greek Revival house.

With the Panic of 1837 they were unable to finish decorating the interior of their new house. Almost overnight the Illinois State Bank, of which Mr. Clarke was director, failed and he had to turn to farming and hunting using the unfinished parlors to hang his game for family use and to sell for income.

The oldest building existing in Chicago, it was moved from its nearby original site a few blocks to the Prairie Avenue Historic District in 1977.

Chicago, Illinois