King-Bruwaert House Estate Chart
Unrecorded plan of a lavish Illinois estate established to care for ‘women of refinement’ in their later years.
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This previously unknown illustrated plan outlines the sprawling estate known as the King-Bruwaert House. At the Columbian Exposition of 1893, a prominent local socialite named Suzanne King (1848-1928) met Francois Edmond Bruwaert (1847-1927), French Consul General to Chicago. They married the following year and traveled extensively throughout Europe. According to the organization’s website;
“Edmond retired in 1911, and the couple settled in Lausanne, Switzerland. Following the death of her husband in 1927, Mrs. Bruwaert became concerned that so many women of refinement had no place to turn for comfort and care in their later years. In a handwritten will, Suzanne King-Bruwaert left a substantial estate with direction to build an elegant European country home for women. She referenced medical sites in France in notes she wrote to the trustees who would eventually handle her estate.
Mrs. Bruwaert died in 1928, and her appointed trustees carried out the dictates of her will. Following an extensive property search throughout the Chicago area, trustees who represented Mrs. Bruwaert’s estate discovered a 35-acre parcel of land for sale in south Hinsdale.”
A three-story Georgian mansion, designed by Anderson and Ticknor, was completed in 1933 and extensive landscape was installed throughout the grounds. The plan, oriented with north to the left, shows the estate about 20 miles southwest of Chicago shortly after the end of World War II.
The manor house is featured prominently in the center-left, and various other features are illustrated and labeled. Walking paths, extensive gardens, orchards, a tranquil creek, a croquet field, and even a replica English village are just a few of the amenities that were enjoyed by the elderly residents – primarily Chicago’s elite.
The map is accompanied by a custom poem titled ‘Discoveries’ that takes its reader on a walk through several of the landmarks visible on the map. It was written by Anna Donigan on February 5, 1946 as a birthday greeting to Miss King (relation to Suzanne unknown). Stapled to the poem is an advertisement/notice (dated 2/10/46) that solicits sealed bids for new ‘owners’ of certain parts of the estate, referred to as ‘This Green World.’ Conditions stipulate “paths trails, etc. where possible will be named for the particular flowers, shrub, or tree in the vicinity; and no path is to be named “Lovers’ Lane.”
The map was compiled by Anna Donigan and Mary King, approved by Jane Durland, and drawn by Ida Schmid Randall in 1946. Apparently quite scarce, with no entries in OCLC, Rumsey, Chicago-area institutions, or other online repositories. Randall is well-known for a commemorative textile map of Emma Frances Willard, another prominent Chicagoan.
Publication Date: 1946
Author: Ida Schmid Randall
Sheet Width (in): 18.25
Sheet Height (in): 16.5
Condition Description: Scattered toning and light soiling visible in the upper half of the sheet, concentrated most heavily on the right side. Light wear including some wrinkling and small edge tears. Good to very good overall.
1 in stock