Bertha Honore Palmer was the "Queen" of Chicago society from the time of her marriage to the very successful Potter Palmer in 1870 until her death in 1918. This is a well researched account of her impact on the social life of Chicago, her leadership as Chairman of the Board of Lady Managers for the Columbian Exposition of 1893, and her influence on the Art Institute of Chicago, to which she donated much of what has become a great collection of Impressionist paintings. The book includes 55 illustrations including mansions built in the Gold Coast area starting in the 1870s when Potter Palmer made the bold move north of Oak Street. He filled the swamp land with sand from Lake Michigan and began selling lots to his very rich friends--hence the name "Gold Coast." A picture of the Palmer "Castle" is included, along with views of the ballroom/art gallery, entry way and items rescued after the Castle was razed. Sally Sexton Kalmbach's gem is packed with carefully researched stories, which she tells with her unique sense of humor and easy style.
|Edition description:||AMPERSAND, INC.|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Sally Sexton Kalmbach is a fourth generation Chicagoan whose family founded a Chicago-based coffee and tea company in the early 1880s, the same time Potter Palmer was developing the Gold Coast. She has taught Chicago history at the Newberry Library and gives customized walking tours and seminars on the Gold Coast, the Columbian Exposition, Women and the White City, Mrs. James Ward Thorne's Miniature Rooms and Chicago's Holiday traditions. She is co-founder of the Chicago History Women's Club, a board member of the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, a volunteer docent at the Charnley-Persky House Museum and an active member of the Blue Dolphins Swim Club.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Jewel of the Gold Coast: Mrs. Potter Palmer's Chicago based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)I'm often mentioning here how it's actually most appropriate to judge books relative to their budgets and goals; and a good example of this is Sally Sexton Kalmbach's 2009 The Jewel of the Gold Coast: Mrs. Potter Palmer's Chicago, which aims to be nothing more than a slim walking-tour-style guide to the city's Gold Coast neighborhood (based in fact on the tours that Kalmbach gives there), thematically centered around Victorian society wife Bertha Palmer (yes, the Palmer House hotel is named for her), using her Whartonesque life to spin off interesting tour-sized stories about the history of one of Chicago's first rich neighborhoods (and still one of the richest in the city to this day). As such, then, it can't hold a candle to either full scholarly tomes or glossy coffeetable books on the subject, but neither does it try to; it instead is intended as a lively but brief overview of the subject, an image-heavy book that's easy to actually carry around the neighborhood with you, and read in nearly real time as you traverse its streets yourself. It's a great example of what basement presses do best -- fill a specific niche, that is, many times comprised of books simply not financially worth a major national publisher to take on -- and while it's maybe not recommended to everyone out there today, certainly it's worth picking up if you're ever going to be in the neighborhood yourself soon.Out of 10: 8.5