March 13, 2017. Chicago had its first snowstorm of 2017. Up until today, there hadn't even been a flury. Unfortunately, the storm was relatively minor, dropping somewhere between 3" and 6" inches. By rush hour, the roads were clear, but the clouds still blanketed the sky with white. No contrast and no falling snow: The city just doesn't look that great, which is why I headed to Lincoln Park.
On the south end of the park sits the Archbishop's Residence (1555 North State Parkway), with its 19 chimneys, only three of which are currently in working order. Built in 1885, the three-story Queen Anne revival style mansion was designed by Major James R. Willett. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, as well at being included in the Astor Street historic district. There have been periodic reports/speculation that the Archdiocese might sell the mansion, but the buyer probably could not replace the mansion with a tony high-rise condominium development given those designations.
Famous guests have included Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli and Giovanni Cardinal Montana, who became Pope Pius XII and Pope Paul VI, respectively. President Franklin D. Roosevelt also spent the evening in the house.
The main structure includes a small chapel, kitchen, and dining room, with the Archbishop's private quarters on the second floor, but current Archbishop Blasé Cupich has followed in the footsteps of Pope Francis, deciding to eschew luxury for a three-room apartment inside the rectory at Holy Name Catherdral. There is also a carriage house. The grounds are currently occupied by the nuns who care for the mansion.