McCORMICK MUSEUM TO OFFER GUIDED “SERVANTS TOUR” Weekend specialty tour will examine life inside the mansion for those who served the McCormick family and their guests.
The Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny Parkhas started a new attraction for visitors: “Upstairs, Downstairs: The Servants Tour.” The guided 45-minute tour aims to show a different side of daily life inside the former home of Colonel Robert McCormick, Cantigny’s benefactor. Visitors will learn about the typical jobs performed by live-in staff during McCormick’s era, see where they ate and worked, and find out what made working for the Colonel unique. “McCormick treated his staff very well,” said Jeff Anderson, tour coordinator at the museum. “The master-servant relationship in the home wasn’t typical and our Upstairs, Downstairs tour will shed light on that.” McCormick lived in the mansion from around 1910 until his death in 1955. During those years he employed such positions as butler, cook, chauffeur, ladies maid and valet. The new research-based tour reveals information about specific people who served the Colonel, his family and his guests. “I think Cantigny visitors will find this to be a fascinating and also very relatable tour,” Anderson said. “Most people can’t picture themselves as millionaires, living in a mansion. But we can imagine ourselves as members of the staff, doing familiar jobs like cooking, cleaning and driving.” The complimentary tour will be offered at 11:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays beginning May 2. Tours are limited to 10 participants on a first-come, first served basis. On tour days, ticket distribution will be at the McCormick Museum’s Gold Theatre starting at 11 am. The Servants Tour is the second new initiative of 2015 announced by the McCormick Museum. “Second Saturdays,” a free monthly program for families, began in March. The next Second Saturdays program is slated for May 9 with journalism as the theme. The McCormick Museum is open Tuesday through Friday for free guided tours. Hours vary by season and day of the week. Parking is $5 or free for Cantigny Park members.
About the Robert R. McCormick Museum The McCormick Museum is a historic house museum interpreting the life and legacy of Colonel Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It is located at Cantigny Park, the Colonel’s 500-acre Wheaton (Illinois) estate that he left as a gift to the public.
About Cantigny Park Part of the nonprofit Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Cantigny is home to 30 acres of spectacular gardens, the Robert R. McCormick Museum, the First Division Museum and a 27-hole championship golf course. All are open to the public. More information, including park hours, directions and a calendar of upcoming events is online at www.cantigny.org.