These houses are home to suburban history

  • The Tanner House Museum in Aurora dates back to 1857. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

    The Tanner House Museum in Aurora dates back to 1857. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Courtesy of Aurora Historical Society

 
 
Posted1/1/2016 5:30 AM

For lovers of historical homes, the suburbs are rife with gems, from the only farmhouse designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Write to the grand Italianate-sytle home of energy giant Commonwealth Edison's founder.

Here is a look at some homes we recommend checking out in the new year:

 

Fabyan Villa Museum, Geneva

The Fabyan Villa Museum, redesigned by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1907 and located in the lush Fabyan West Forest Preserve, is home to many artifacts collected by George and Nelle Fabyan, including natural history specimens, Asian sculptures and a marble statue from the World's Columbian Exposition. The Fabyans lived in the estate until 1939.

The museum at 1511 S Batavia Ave., Geneva, is open to the public May 15 through Oct. 15. Private tours can be scheduled throughout the year. Visit kaneforest.com/historicsites/fabyanVilla.aspx, call (630) 232-5980 or email fabyanvilla@ppfv.org for more information.

Tanner House, Aurora

The William Tanner House Museum, dating back to 1857, has been home to the Aurora Historical Society since 1936. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

With its 12-foot ceilings and 16 rooms, the house showed off the wealth of the Tanner family. It has a grand formal parlor, the showplace of the house reserved for special events and important guests.

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The house is at 305 Cedar St. in Aurora, two blocks west of Route 31. For more information visit aurorahistory.net/tannertour.html, call (630) 906-0650 or email ahs@aurorahistory.net.

Muirhead Farmhouse, Hampshire

The Muirhead Farmhouse in Hampshire was designed and built by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1950s.
The Muirhead Farmhouse in Hampshire was designed and built by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1950s. - John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2010

Muirhead Farmhouse is the only known farmhouse designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. The 3,200-square-foot Usonian-style home, built in the early 1950s, is surrounded by nearly 800 acres of restored prairie with a 4-mile limestone trail loop.

The home, which remains in the family, underwent extensive restoration in 2003.

Located at 42W814 Rohrsen Road, the farmhouse is open for tours by appointment. Photos are allowed, but no shoes in the house. Visit muirheadfarmhouse.com for information. To schedule a tour, call (847) 464-5224 or email info@muirheadfarmhouse.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Cuneo Mansion, Vernon Hills

Loyola University's Cuneo Mansion & Gardens in Vernon Hills dates back to 1916. It was built for Commonwealth Edison founder Samuel Insull.
Loyola University's Cuneo Mansion & Gardens in Vernon Hills dates back to 1916. It was built for Commonwealth Edison founder Samuel Insull. - Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Loyola University's Cuneo Mansion and Gardens is an Italianate-style villa designed by Benjamin Marschall and completed in 1916 for Samuel Insull, the founder of Commonwealth Edison. The gardens are the work of landscape architect Jens Jensen.

John Cuneo Sr. filled the mansion with fine art and added murals, stained glass and a private chapel, plus neoclassical statues and fountains in the gardens. The estate was gifted to Loyola in 2009.

It is located at 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills. For more information visit luc.edu/cuneo, call (847) 362-3042 or email cuneomansion@luc.edu.

Martin Mitchell Mansion, Naperville

The Martin Mitchell Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is among the prime sites to visit in Naperville's Naper Settlement. The "Victorian eclectic" two-story, 12-room brick-and-stone residence was commissioned in 1883 by George Martin II. The home, named "Pinecraig," was designed by Aurora architect James Mulvey.

The 200 acres surrounding the mansion, originally farmland, now holds Naperville Central High School and Martin Park.

For information, visit napersettlement.org/index.aspx? nid=204 or call (630) 420-6010.

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