National Historic Landmark

The John Farson House, also known as Pleasant Home, joined the nation's elite sites as a National Historic Landmark in June 1996. The Pleasant Home Foundation seeks to create a home which is a dynamic museum, providing exciting opportunities to learn about the history and architecture of the early 20th century. 

Located in the heart of Oak Park, Illinois, one of the nation's most architecturally significant villages, Pleasant Home is an architectural treasure designed in 1897 by noted Prairie Style architect George W. Maher for investment banker and philanthropist John W. Farson. 


Maher was in many ways in the forefront of the Prairie School movement and he developed a style distinct from that of Frank Lloyd Wright and other Prairie School architects.

Pleasant Home is one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of the Prairie School of architecture. Pleasant Home was named a National Historic Landmark, joining Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio and Unity Temple as the only National Historic Landmarks in Oak Park.

Situated on seven acres of land, known as Mills Park, Pleasant Home is famous for its status in launching Maher's career for many reasons. The evolution of his "motif-rhythm" theory began here, and Pleasant Home is the first large estate Maher designed. Though Maher designed more than 300 distinguished structures in the United States, Pleasant Home is the only one open to the public.

George Washington Maher


Smooth Roman brick cladding, which was used to enhance the horizontal appearance of the 30-room, 16,000- square-foot house.
Simple overall massing, with unadorned elements such as the low-pitched hipped roof, the rectangular limestone window surrounds, and the broad entrance porch.
Richly artistic interior featuring extraordinary art glass, custom furniture and light fixtures, intricate woodwook and a unique reception hall and staircase. 
Expansive windows, which allow nature to become unified with interior spaces.
Repeated decorative motifs, which were incorporated into every facet of the dwelling including its furnishings, light fixtures, art glass, surrounding rolled iron gate, woodwork, and window and door hardware.

The first thing one notices about Pleasant Home is the richly artistic interior featuring extraordinary art glass.






The foyer features a large, inviting fireplace that welcomes visitors with a sense of warmth and comfort - this room and its fireplace was the first restoration project of the Pleasant Home Foundation


The Pleasant Home library is dominated by the Maher-designed table and chairs - this room has been recently restored by the Pleasant Home Foundation
Dining Room

Now it's time to go outside for a look around!