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The Colony at the
Chicago Golf Club

Wheaton and unincorporated DuPage County
(Jarvis Hunt, c. 1898-1916)

 

Significance: The collection of 23 summer cottages and estates, built for the early members of the Chicago Golf Club, are all that remain of the original 37 that comprised the Wheaton Colony. At least 23 of the original cottages were designed by noted Chicago architect, Jarvis Hunt, of which only 16 remain. The Chicago Golf Club, one

 
 

of the five original founding clubs of the United State Golf Association (USGA), was established in 1892 and moved to Wheaton in 1895. It is the oldest 18-hole golf course in the nation and the colony is the oldest of its type. The current clubhouse, also designed by Hunt, was built in 1913. Inspired by the Columbian Exposition, the formation of the club continued a theme pursued by prominent Chicago businessmen to remove the stigma of Chicago as the Second City. Driven by this theme, every aspect of the club, including the "modern" cottages, were to be superior to their East Coast counterparts. Among the Hunt-designed residences were homes for the club's founder, Charles Blair Macdonald, known as the "father of golf"; Frank Gorton, founder of the Chicago Edison Company and former private secretary to Thomas Edison; Arthur Ely, industrialist, Ed Worthington, secretary of the Chicago Board of Trade, and Jarvis Hunt, himself.

 

Current Condition and/or Status: Now full-time residences, many of the homes are well maintained. However, several of the estates and cottages have been demolished and another, owned by Marianjoy Hospital, is planned for demolition this fall.

 

Potential Threat: These historic “Colony” golf estate properties are not protected by any local landmark regulations. In unincorporated Wheaton, two residences on Hawthorne Lane are for sale and vulnerable as tear-downs and a large, original gatehouse on Plamondon Lane is being marketed as a tear-down. In the city of Wheaton, one residence is part of the Loretto Convent, owned by the Sisters of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which in recent years has sold off sections of its campus for development.

 

What You Can Do: Urge DuPage County officials to enact a county-wide historic preservation ordinance, which would protect historic resources, such as these, in unincorporated parts of the county. Urge the City of Wheaton’s mayor and historic commission to recognize these important properties and to strengthen its existing ordinance, which is only honorific.

  • Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, DuPage County Board: Jack T. Knuepfer Admin Bldg. 421 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187; Chairman@dupageco.org

  • Mayor Michael J. Gresk, City of Wheaton: City Hall, 303 W. Wesley St., Wheaton, IL 60187; mgresk@wheaton.il.us

  • Chair, Thomas O. Kay, Wheaton Historic Commission: City Hall, 303 W. Wesley St., Wheaton, IL 60187

Other Contacts:

Press

 

Chicago Tribune

May 11, 2010
 

Photos: 1 Marionjoy Hospital property; 2, 4 Hawthorn Lane properties; 3 Loretto Convent 5 realtor sign in front of gatehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landmarks Illinois
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