This 22 room, Italianate mansion was built in 1857, for the Ambassador to Belgium. The home is furnished with Victorian ... More
This 22 room, Italianate mansion was built in 1857, for the Ambassador to Belgium. The home is furnished with Victorian pieces, items from Liberace's estate, and the green drapes from \"Gone With The Wind.\"
I've read all reviews, and I have to say that there are several negative bullet-points with which I agree: 1. The tour is not worth the price, unless you can see past the clutter and ostentatious display of glitz to the actual architecture of the home, 2. Our docent was ill-informed and appeared bored, and 3. We felt rushed. Whether or not the owner lives there or is from the area is of little importance to me, and I do think the price is necessary for home upkeep and preservation. That being said, I feel that even if the home was filled with "faux" or cheap reproduction pieces, it would be so much more enjoyable than feeling like I'm walking through a neighborhood garage sale. I'm personally more interested in the structure of the home and how the rooms were originally used than the authenticity of the furnishings. My suggestion: Don't change the price, but purge the clutter and replace it with tasteful reproduction pieces to show off the home as it was originally intended.
We have many mansions still around from the gilded age in the Chicagoland area. This mansion was built prior to the building of power behind Chicago. The man who built this mansion gave us Chicagoans the first starts of what we now know as the CTA. This home was built by a man who was dirt poor and prospered from business. The town of Galena where this wonderful home was built, had propered around the lead mines there. The town was majority filled with minorities who worked the mines. The man who built this mansion believed that a Black man should have the right to read and write and secretly taught his workers to do so. This man came from nothing and tried to bring others up along with him. Maybe you should stay away from Galena period, since the wealth of the town was built on lead mines, which was 60 percent of the country's lead use at the time. Lead which was mainly used for bullets. But instead you pick on the home owner for being ostentacious? Please. The current owner, this person purchased a special home from Illinois history, and refurbished it to its original glory, and now shares it with us. So sorry if he cannot trace all of the original peices to the home to please those who wrote scathing reviews. Maybe you should attempt to find those pieces and see how difficult it is. The $12 fee is much more inexepnsive than many other docent lead tours I have seen. And coming from the Archival community I know how difficult it is to restore as well as maintain a beauty such as this structure. My husband and I thought we got much more for our money - we were surprised to get to see as much as we did. The menial $12 dollars supports the upkeep of the historic home's structure. Which in order to keep with landmark status can only be upkept and repaired inspecific ways in accordance to historical landmark rules and regulations. In a time of cookie cutter houses with no character - I am so thankful to the person who purchased this home for me to see. Someone in an earlier review chided the owner for not living there. That is actually not true. The owner does live there and the closed rooms are reserved for just this. However, again with the home's upkeep and historical furniture, one cannot constantly keep things and sleep and live on all of these fine antiques. This home was the site of the midwest's first indoor plumbing - for toilet use. The home has an ingenious air conditioning system - way before its time. I would also like to point out many docent jobs are volunteer work. And another comment to the person who chided a docent for questions asked. Think about the situation... did you wait for the docent to finish his/her story? Or were you constantly interrupting them? They do ask at the end of each presentation if there are any questions. Was your reaction based on ego? Please give this home a chance. I am not affiliated with the home owner at all and found, as a fan of history and perserving it, that this was so worth the money. The stories were interesting... and I was able to tell my grandmother that I saw Scarlett O'Hara's actual green drapes. How fun and spontaneous is that?!
I was so! angered over this tour. The house truly is more like a museum full of ostentatious antiques that had nothing to do with the original home. It was so packed with statues, candlelabras, urns etc. that you could not even see the real beauty of the home. A sunroom (an addition to the back of the house) was also inappropriately filled with antique statues etc. We only were allowed to see about 1/3 of the home. The tour guide was irritated when I asked a question and actually grimaced at me. When my husband asked a question the guide ignored him and continued on with his speech. We were charged $12.50 each. I wish I had read these reviews before wasting my money.
I thought this tour would be great. However the tour was very disappointing. The tour guide was rude from the beginning. The tour guide did not seem very knowledgeable about some artifacts. The tour seemed a little rushed. I understand that it was close to the end of their day but each group that pays deserves a quality tour. You did not get to see the entire house. However you did get to see artifacts that did not really pertain to the house.
The cost was quite expensive although we were not charged for two of the five of us. I don't believe any of the items inside were original to the house. The tour guides said it is more of a museum since there are many items from many different contributions. Every room is not explored.
Just came back from Galena and toured the Belvedere Mansion. Cost $12 each and was a big waste of time. The mansion had various antiques that had nothing to do with the house itself. Tour guide was rude and made up ridiculous stories. Owners?? I'm sure they don't live there, they are collecting money for a bogus tour of a museum of antiques. Save your money on this one. The trolley tour was much much better, interesting and more history.
Agree with Kammariti - this was a complete waste of time. I was there 2 days after him and same thing...who cares! Rooms filled of antiques that have absolutely nothing to do with the house. Liberaci's candelabras! Gone With The Wind drapery! Teddy Roosevelt's couch! Nothing to do with the house. And that addition to the back of the house?!?!? That was just another room to put all their antiques. How dare they show it as part of the house. The owners? Mr. Burlingame, we're told! I found out from one of the shops owners! He supposedly lives behind the house, and is NOT from Chicago, as the tour guide told us.
I think this tour was a complete waste of money. It is $10 per person to see a bunch of antiques that were purchased by the wealthy family that lives there. Outside of the structure of the home, this place had no history. The other places in town are full of history and original items. This place was cluttered and just showed how much money the owners do have and how much they can spend. Showing the green curtains from "Gone With the Wind" has nothing to do with the history of the house. No wonder why they have to charge $10 a person, so they can recover some of the costs they have paid for the antiques. Plus, you didn't even get to see all the rooms in the house!
The Belvedere mansion is a gross display of greed and more money than taste. The owners should go visit the homes in Holly Springs, Ms. and maybe, just maybe they will see where they have gone wrong. The decor had absolutely nothing to do with the beautiful house itself. Very disappointing.
Absolutely disastrous melding of money and lack of taste.
This home could have been a showcase. Instead, the owners, who have more money than class, bought numerous glam-tastic artifacts from the Liberache estate and MGM auctions and are passing this off as an antique home tour. Very unfortunate - the tour guides have no idea what they're talking about, and the home is not restored, it's renovated and ruined. The coup de grace is the four seasons porch the owners "added" which you can see at the end of the tour.
Built in 1857 1859 from Nauvoo limestone, this Renaissance Revival building is the second oldest continuously operating post office in
the United States. It was also the first to be named a \"Great American Post Office\" by the Smithsonian. ...
Built in 1826, this is the oldest home in Galena. The home is built of native limestone and served as
both a trading post, and a residence. It is furnished with primitives, and a collection of Galena pottery.
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