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The Pleasant Home Foundation is dedicated to restoring, preserving and operating Pleasant Home as a historic house museum while presenting a year-round schedule of tours, educational programs, community events and cultural performances.
Pleasant Home is a national architectural treasure, designed in 1897 by prominent Prairie Style architect George Maher. The home is one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of Prairie School architecture and is the finest surviving example of Maher’s work. Maher wrote extensively about the need for a new American architecture, encouraging architects to develop indigenous styles based upon local conditions. His design philosophy, called "motif-rhythm theory," use elements from the site’s natural and community setting to inspire motifs that are incorporated throughout the entire structure, bringing unity and meaning to every detail.
Pleasant Home has a history of fascinating characters. Owner John Farson was a memorable figure in the community who wore red bow-ties and hosted extravagant Gatsbyish parties. Second owners, the Mills family, made their fortune manufacturing coin-operated amusement machines. In 1939, Pleasant Home was purchased by the Oak Park Park District and operated as a community center, until opening as a museum in 1990. Pleasant Home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996.
Pleasant Home was built for entertaining, and is still being used for its original purpose today. Much more than a museum, Pleasant Home is a vibrant cultural destination offering a year-round schedule of educational programs, community events, cultural performances, in addition to rentals. Countless stories fill these walls, and we welcome all to visit and experience the past.