Renaming Chicago’s oldest home the Clarke-Ford House acknowledges a building’s history beyond its construction.
Officially Known as the Henry B. House
Wednesday, Chicago’s City Council designated the neighbourhood. The Caroline Clarke/Bishop Louis Henry and Margaret Ford House provides a more detailed history.
Clarke-Ford House was built in 1836. After his death, Caroline kept it. The Fords saved it in the 1940s, and it shows pre-Civil War Chicago.
The new name, suggested in September, updates the Ford family’s legacy.
The name change “tells a more complete history of Chicago’s oldest house,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot. It considers “not only the contributions of Bishop Louis Henry and Margaret Ford”
Legacy of the Ford Family’s Leadership
The residence was purchased by Ford and the St. Paul Church of God in Christ, which constructed a church on the property. The grand mansion now serves as the church’s administrative headquarters and parsonage.
This house was named a Chicago landmark in 1970, making it one of the first places in the city to get this honor.
As time went on, the church sold the home to the city of Chicago, and the city arranged for its relocation at 1827 S.
The Prairie Avenue Historic District’s Chicago Women’s Park is situated on Indiana Avenue. The home had to be hoisted above the high Green Line rails, which was a complex process.
The home was meticulously restored to its 1860s look with the help of the National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of Illinois. It is done with a procedure that included chipping through as many as 27 layers of paint to find the Clarkes’ original colour scheme.
Along with the new moniker, the home is also undergoing a facelift. Officials have announced that renovations, including external repairs, painting, and HVAC hardware replacement, are ongoing.
Since September 1st, home tours have stopped so that maintenance may be completed.
An employee from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will be hired to “reimagine the house’s public programming,” according to the statement.