Events And Opportunities

The Driehaus Museum Winter Book Club: The Jewel of the Gold Coast: Mrs. Potter Palmer’s Chicago

Tuesday, January 28
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Driehaus Museum introduces the Winter Book Club! Join us for lively discussions of Gilded Age fiction, biographies, and history with the authors where we will expound upon the book from a literary perspective as well as discuss the larger historical context of its content.

Our first Book Club meeting explores the fascinating details of Bertha Honore Palmer’s life including her impact on the social life of Chicago in the late 19th century, her leadership as Chairman of the Board of Lady Managers for the Columbian Exposition of 1893, and her influence on the Art Institute of Chicago with popular Chicago historian Sally Kalmbach.

The Jewel of the Gold Coast: Mrs. Potter Palmer’s Chicago has 55 illustrations, including pictures of the historic Gold Coast mansions. In the 1870s, Potter Palmer boldly developed the land north of Oak Street, blocks away from then-fashionable Prairie Avenue. He filled that swamp land with sand from Lake Michigan and began selling lots to his very rich friends—hence the name “Gold Coast.” A picture of the Palmer “Castle” is included, along with views of the ballroom/art gallery, entry way and items rescued after the Castle was razed. Sally Sexton Kalmbach’s gem is packed with carefully researched stories, which she tells with her unique sense of humor and easy style.

In these 90 minute book clubs museum patrons will gather to discuss what they have read with fellow museum goers and the author of the book. The book is available in the Museum store and light refreshments will be provided. A welcome email will introduce the book, the author, and discussion topics. Participants should arrive to each book club having read the book. Tickets include Museum admission.