Cheney Mansion, reminiscent of a gracious English country home, was designed in 1913 by Charles E. White, Jr., a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. This 12,000-square-foot mansion boasts many handsome reception rooms, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and separate servants' quarters. The two acres of beautifully landscaped grounds also include a coach house and greenhouse. These showcase gardens include a kitchen and cutting garden with an espalier fence, a woodland walk, and the great lawn for picnics.
The grounds are open to the public until dusk everyday unless they are reserved for a private event. Self-guided tours of the mansion are available by appointment or at community events.
Located in the Historic District of Oak Park, the Mansion is available for your special occasions including weddings/receptions, private parties, corporate meetings and events, concerts and recitals, not-for-profit events and fundraisers, and memorial services.
Cheney Mansion's architect, Charles E. White, Jr., a graduate of MIT, came to Oak Park after marrying local Alice Roberts. For two years, beginning in 1903, White worked in Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio, and was strongly influenced by Wright’s credo that a building should express the spirit of its natural surroundings. White also designed a number of Oak Park residences and the Oak Park Post Office. Located in the Historic District of Oak Park, the home was built for the Sharpe family. In 1922, it was purchased by Andrew and Mary Dole. Their niece, Elizabeth Cheney, inherited the mansion in the late 1940s. Though she deeded it to the Park District of Oak Park in 1975, no funding was designated for its support.
The Park District of Oak Park, with the help of consultants from Wolff Landscape Architecture, has begun to develop a site plan for the grounds surrounding Cheney Mansion. A site plan is a blueprint for future park renewal.
Community Programs and Special Events at the Mansion
The Park District of Oak Park owns and operates the Mansion, and often holds programs and special events inside the Mansion and on the grounds. Registration is typically required for these programs, and may be done through the Park District website.