The Bryan Lathrop House

Home to The Fortnightly of Chicago, the Bryan Lathrop House “serves as a peaceful place where the talents of the members may be enjoyed and the literary, artistic, and social concerns of the time discussed in an atmosphere of grace and friendliness.” (Fanny Butcher Bokum, 1948)

Designed by Charles Follen McKim, and completed in 1892, the Bryan Lathrop House is a notable example of Georgian Revival architecture. The New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White also designed several major buildings for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, influencing civic and residential design throughout the country.

Photo of Lake Shore drive in the 1920s

In the early 1920s the defining architectural elements
of the Lathrop House, the neoclassical bays, peeked over the turrets
of the McCormick House to the south. Soon gables and turrets along
North Lake Shore Drive were razed to make way for the
next big thing – apartment buildings.

In 1922, The Fortnightly of Chicago purchased the House from Mrs. Lathrop, a member of the Club for over forty years. At the time of purchase and throughout subsequent years, changes have made the former private residence functional and inviting for the Club’s use.

The Fortnightly has been a conscientious steward of the Bryan Lathrop House, which was designated as a Landmark by the City of Chicago in 1973, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The Historic Preservation Foundation of The Fortnightly was incorporated in 1998 to support preservation of the Bryan Lathrop House in particular and historic Chicago architecture generally. It is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization.

The House is closed to the general public. Associated organizations and other groups with an interest in architectural history and preservation tour it several times a year.

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