Hegeler Carus Mansion

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Hegeler Carus Mansion
Hegeler-Carus Mansion (8765254143).jpg
General information
Status Under Restoration
Architectural style Second Empire
Completed 1876
Owner Hegeler Carus Foundation
Design and construction
Architect William W. Boyington, et al.; Fiedler, A.
Main contractor Edward C. Hegeler
Hegeler-Carus Mansion
Hegeler Carus Mansion is located in Illinois
Hegeler Carus Mansion
Hegeler Carus Mansion is located in the US
Hegeler Carus Mansion
Location LaSalle, Illinois
Coordinates 41°20′9.5″N 89°5′13.6″W / 41.335972°N 89.087111°W / 41.335972; -89.087111Coordinates: 41°20′9.5″N 89°5′13.6″W / 41.335972°N 89.087111°W / 41.335972; -89.087111
Built 1874
NRHP Reference # 95000989
Significant dates
Added to NRHP August 9, 1995[1]
Designated NHL March 29, 2007

The Hegeler Carus Mansion, located at 1307 Seventh Street in La Salle, Illinois is one of the Midwest's great Second Empire structures. Completed in 1876 for Edward C. Hegeler, a partner in the nearby Matthiessen Hegeler Zinc Company, the mansion was designed in 1874 by noted Chicago architect William W. Boyington. The mansion is now owned and operated by the Hegeler Carus Foundation, and is open to the public.


Boyington, the architect who designed the mansion, is noted for the Chicago Water Tower, the Joliet State Penitentiary, and for completing the Illinois State Capitol. The interior was done by August Fiedler, who designed a unique parquet floor and hand-painted ceiling for each public room.[2] The mansion, which has seven levels, has 57 rooms[3] with a total of about 16,000 square feet of interior space.

The Hegeler Carus Mansion was initially home to Hegeler, his wife Camilla Hegeler, and their large family. In 1887, Hegeler launched the Open Court Publishing Company to provide a forum for the discussion of philosophy, science and religion, and hired the German scholar Dr. Paul Carus to serve as managing editor. The company was located on the first level of the house. In 1888, Carus married Hegelers’ daughter Mary.[4]

The mansion is where Carus wrote over 70 books, countless articles and served as editor of two scholarly publications, The Open Court and The Monist. Carus invited editorial contributions from the likes of Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Leo Tolstoy, F. Max Müller, Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. Carus hosted a historical meeting of East and West immediately after the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition, bringing together eminent Oriental religious scholars. This led to Open Court's publishing program emphasizing classics of eastern religious thought. Zen scholar D. T. Suzuki spent 11 years in La Salle working with Carus on this programme.

After Carus, who had lived with his family in the mansion for many years, died in 1919, the house was occupied mainly by his children. In 2001, its sole resident was 99-year-old Alwin Carus, one of six children of Paul and Mary,[3] who died in 2004.[5]

Recent developments[edit]

In 1995 the Hegeler Carus Foundation was created. That year, the mansion was put on the National Register of Historic Places.[3] In recent years, members of the Carus family and others have done much restoration of the mansion. On March 29, 2007, the Hegeler Carus Mansion was designated a National Historic Landmark.[6][7][8]

In 2008, the foundation launched a project to restore the mansion's gymnasium and its apparatus, considered to be a unique surviving example of a late 19th-century physical culture facility.[9] The foundation also owns the Julius W. Hegeler I House, located directly across the street, which is undergoing restoration.

Current uses[edit]

The mansion hosts numerous public programs, and is open for public tours. It is particularly notable for its high Victorian stencils and wall and ceiling paintings, its woodwork, and its history.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Alma Gaul (June 28, 2009). "Hegeler Carus Mansion is an architectural gem". Quad City Times. 
  3. ^ a b c Jeffrey Felshman (May 31, 2001). "Power House". Chicago Reader. 
  4. ^ "The Story of a House". Glessner House Museum. July 18, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-21. 
  5. ^ "Alwin C. Carus Papers, 1900-2004". Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ National Register of Historic Places Listings
  7. ^ National Park Service (2007). "National Historic Landmarks Survey: List of National Historic Landmarks by State--Illinois (83)" (pdf). 
  8. ^ "New National Historic Landmarks in 10 states". USA Today. April 10, 2007. 
  9. ^ [1]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]