In 1971, I became a docent for the Chicago Architectural Foundation, which had then recently acquired the Glessner House on Chicago’s near South Side. Back then Prairie Avenue was a street of demolished or abandoned buildings and CAS had brilliantly preserved the Glessner House and made it an anchor of the community.

Today there has been an amazing rennisance on the near south side as the beauty of Millennium Park and Grant Park extends to all of the near south side. On Sunday, I bicyled to the Chicago Women’s Park and Garden, which is directly south of the Glesnner House. The Park houses the Widow Clark House, Chicago’s oldest home, built in 1836 and relocated to the Park.

The Park, surrounding the Clarke House Museum, features a central fountain and gardens indigenous to the 1830s when the Clarke House was built.

The gardens feature perennials, culinary and medicinal herbs, dye and scent plants, an orchard, heirloom vegetables, and a formal rose garden.