In 1873, wealthy railroad magnate,
Jacob A. Henry built his imposing
mansion on Eastern Avenue, which
was then referred to as "Silk Stocking
Row." He employed a master craftsman
from Germany along with three cabinet-
makers to fashion the elaborate carved
interior. It took three years to complete
and has 16,800 square feet consisting
of over 40 rooms.
The main floor is
most elaborate in carving and the black
walnut and oak is hand rubbed to attain
the satin finish. Each room contains an
ornately carved fireplace.
The deeply recessed windows are guarded with shutters on the inside. These fold back into casings for
the sunlight to enter and also serve as storm windows in the winter. Sliding or pocket doors, carved
and inlaid separate the rooms from the main floor. Its main feature is a magnificent staircase made of
solid walnut with a half-landing surrounded by 119 hand carved octagonal spindles of burled walnut.
The Jacob Henry Mansion won the Architecture Award at the American Centennial Celebration in
Philadelphia in 1876, and is claimed to be the largest and best example of Renaissance Revival
architecture still standing in the state of Illinois.
Today the lovely and fully decorated mansion, a National Historic Landmark, is well known for its
beauty, Old Victorian charm and furnishings, as well as its delicious meals and entertainment, making
the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate the perfect place for your next special occasion.
View a Campus Map of the Jacob Henry Mansion Estate