Donations for the staircase are needed to repair and refinish the woodwork on the stairs and balustrade and install a period-appropriate runner. Generous donors have already pledged more than $14,000 in matching funds and individual gifts for the staircase restoration. The goal is to raise an additional $29,673 from individual donors so the project can be done over summer 2018.
“We are very grateful for the support of so many individuals who are helping us restore this important part of DuPage County’s history,” said Forest Preserve District of DuPage County President Joe Cantore.
“Mayslake is a beloved cultural and historical gem in DuPage County,” said Forest Preserve District Commissioner Jeff Redick, District 2. “The community support for this property has been amazing and we hope it will continue in order to help us preserve one of the most beautiful architectural features of the mansion, which has survived almost 100 years in its near-original condition.”
In 1919 coal baron Francis Stuyvesant Peabody commissioned renowned Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall to design a Tudor Revival-style mansion. In an era when first impressions were important, the entrances of residences such as Mayslake Hall needed to wow visitors while affirming the social status and wealth of the owner, so architects created staircases with richly carved balusters and perforated strap-work. Mayslake Hall’s central walnut staircase is an excellent example of such an entrance and the single-most important architectural feature of the mansion.
Today Mayslake Hall is a registered national historic landmark and well known as a cultural and educational center.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 145 miles of trails, five education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call630-933-7200or visitdupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’se-newsletter,Facebook,Twitter andInstagrampages.