Located on Chicago's North Shore, the
graceful suburb of Evanston is a vibrant city in its own right.
Covering 8.5 square miles, Evanston has a population of 74,000,
of which 10,000 are students at Northwestern University.
Architectural richness, sophisticated
dining, shopping and entertainment, a wealth of intellectual
and cultural events, and a beautiful shoreline give this community
Evanston boasts three distinct historic
districts, fine specialty shops, noted art galleries, and
exceptional bookstores. It offers six museums, several excellent
theaters, a nationally recognized dance company, and its own
symphony orchestra. Northwestern University contributes a
superb variety of music, theater, dance, and athletic events.
For more about this alluring Chicago
suburb, visit Chicago's North Shore Convention & Visitors
Bureau Web site at www.visitchicagonorthshore.com
A Little Bit of History
Architect Philip A. Danielson began
drawing up plans for The Homestead in late 1926 when he married
Ruby Larson. On their honeymoon, the couple conceived the
idea of designing and building a distinctive 18th century
family hotel in east Evanston. Their goal was to offer fine
accommodations “for a night or a year in a family setting
and a wonderful location”. They planned to manage it
together until it was running smoothly, then return Philip
to his architectural practice.
Construction began in early 1927. Philip
derived architectural inspiration from Colonial designs of
the American South. Ruby used her background in art and interior
design and her substantial knowledge of antiques to decorate
the hotel’s lobby, salon, and dining room. With great
fanfare, the doors opened to the public on February 11, 1928.
Business was good for the Danielsons
that first year. Then, in 1929, the stock market crashed,
bringing on the American Depression. Though well respected,
the inn carried debt from being built when land and materials
were at a premium. The Danielsons worked hard to keep The
Homestead from falling into the hands of creditors, and their
efforts succeeded. As the Depression gave way to a wartime
economy, business improved and The Homestead again became
a profitable venture. The Danielsons continued to operate
The Homestead until 1957 and imbued it with the graciousness
it has today.
Since it opened in 1928, private owners
have continued to offer fine accommodations "for a night
or a year in a family setting and a wonderful location,"
as the Danielsons conceived. The Homestead today retains its
original design. Guests enjoy the same lovely detail, graceful
moldings, and handsome fixtures which enhanced their comfort
75 years ago.