Visitors can experience the grandeur of Mayslake Hall by joining a restoration-in-progress tour or attending one of several educational and cultural programs that take place at the estate throughout the year.
In 1919, Francis Stuyvesant Peabody commissioned renowned Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall to design the Tudor Revival-style mansion known today as Mayslake Hall. The hall magnified the medieval traditions of the early 16th-century English design that descended from the Tudors.
After his death in 1922, Peabody’s family sold the estate to the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart, Order of Friars Minor, and the hall became a retreat house. Over time, the order sold sections of the estate, selling its last remaining acres, including Mayslake Hall and a friary and chapel, to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in 1993.
Today, the Forest Preserve District is working to restore Mayslake Hall, now a registered national historic landmark and well known as a cultural and educational center. The hall currently serves as a venue for architectural tours, lectures and artistic performances throughout the year. Sections of the hall are also available on a limited basis for private functions; for rental information, contact the Mayslake Peabody Estate events coordinator at 630-206-9569 or [email protected].
The Portiuncula Chapel is a replica of the original in Assisi, Italy, which is named for the “little portion” of land where St. Francis of Assisi received his call to serve the poor.
After Peabody’s death in 1922, his family commissioned the Franciscans to build the chapel on the south side of Mays’ Lake as a memorial to the late industrialist. The order moved the chapel to its current location in 1973.
The nondenominational chapel is available for weddings, baptisms, memorial services and other special ceremonies. For rental information, contact the Mayslake Peabody Estate events coordinator at 630-206-9569 or [email protected].
Mayslake Peabody Estate hosts special events throughout the year, including lectures on architecture, gardening and photography, and concerts by jazz and classical musicians. First Folio Theatre performs works by Noel Coward, Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare and other playwrights as well.
Restoration-in-Progress tours take place on Saturdays at 9:30, 10, 11 and 11:30 a.m. and on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and are $8 per person. The tours outline important features of the hall’s architectural design and detail current efforts to restore the landmark building.
The estate also offers programs for teachers and their students that meet state curriculum standards. For more information about Mayslake's programs, visit Students and Scouts or call 630-206-9566.
For Scouts and Scout Leaders
Learn more about opportunities for Scouts and other youth groups at Mayslake by visiting Students and Scouts.
Francis Stuyvesant Peabody
In 1883 with a $100 investment, 24-year-old Francis Stuyvesant Peabody founded a small coal brokerage in Chicago and started selling coal to homes and businesses. Twenty years later, when coal was providing nearly 90 percent of the nation’s power, he signed his first long-term contract with a major electric company. His business practices made him one of the country’s wealthiest men and provided a lasting foundation for today’s Peabody Energy.
In 1919, Peabody commissioned renowned architect Benjamin Marshall to design a home for his 848-acre Mayslake Farms, which he named after his wife and his daughter, who were both named May. Work on the 39-room Mayslake Hall began that same year. But in 1922, not long after the hall’s completion, Peabody died of natural causes while hunting on the estate. (His coal company was worth an estimated $75 million at the time.)
Mayslake Development Plan
In November 2006, the Forest Preserve District’s Board of Commissioners approved a master plan for Mayslake Peabody Estate. The plan details restoration opportunities for Mayslake Hall and establishing a learning institute for educational and cultural programming, professional development, and corporate retreats, meetings and special events.
Today, the District is raising funds from individual and corporate benefactors for the continued restoration, preservation and operation of Mayslake Peabody Estate. To learn more, contact the Mayslake education site manager at 630-206-9568.