Photos by James Caulfield.

Pleasant Home (Farson-Mills House)
217 Home Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302

Added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 19, 1972 | Declared a National Historic Landmark on June 19, 1996

Pleasant Home is considered one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of Prairie School Architecture in the nation and is operated by the Pleasant Home Foundation as a living museum, which is open to the public and offers a year-round schedule of educational programs, community events and festivals and cultural performances.

The house was designed in 1897 for investment banker and philanthropist John W. Farson and his wife Mamie Ashworth Farson.  The design of Pleasant Home broke with the traditional Queen Anne and colonial revival styles of most of the homes in Oak Park. The simplified massing of Farson’s house, its broad front porch, the smooth surfaces of Roman bricks and stone, and the use of decorative motifs to unify the interior decoration and furnishings mark it as an outstanding Prairie School house.

The 30-room architectural gem is a showcase of 19th-century craftsmanship and artistry, with rich custom woodwork throughout the location, extraordinary art glass windows, a massive fireplace, intricate woodcarvings, and tile work.

Pleasant Home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. That same year, it was included in the Illinois Historic Structures Survey. In 1996, the National Park Service made Pleasant Home a National Historic Landmark and the Village of Oak Park named it one of the first Oak Park Landmarks.

The Pleasant Home Foundation is dedicated to restoring, preserving and operating the home both as a beloved local civic institution, as well as a destination for visitors from around the world who come to Oak Park to enjoy its vast array of architectural and cultural treasures.