Cuneo Mansion

The Cuneo Mansion was built in 1916 by Samuel Insull, who made his money in utilities. When Insull lost his fortune in the Depression, the property was bought by John Cuneo, Sr., who made his millions in publishing. The mansion was built in the Italianate style, with a central courtyard that had a glass roof that could be slid opened. The Cuneos filled it with a ridiculous number of ridiculously-valuable antiques. It was the first stop on the 2014 mystery trip.

My good friend Olive volunteered to take a seat by the front door.



We split in to two groups for an hour-long tour. The roof over the main interior courtyard no longer opens and closes.


The dining room in the Cuneo Mansion could seat 75 guests for dinner. In the four corners of the room stand four candelabras that came from Napoleon’s palace in Corsica. My coworker and friend, Dan Craig, agreed that this would make a fitting location for a photo.


My coworker Joanne Unger sits in the ballroom of the Cuneo Mansion. The gardens and the dining room are visible behind her.


We didn’t have time to tour the grounds, but I took advantage of a five-minute period when everyone was standing around waiting to board our bus and gave myself a quick tour of the back of the house.


The “cages” on the roof were for protection. In the early 30’s, after Charles Lindbergh’s boy had been kidnapped, the Cuneos were worried about their young son. Oddly, they didn’t show the same concern for their young daughter — or so we were told.



I brought the Red Chair along for this year’s Mystery Trip, but this particular photograph wasn’t my idea. It was, however, proof that my coworkers didn’t mind that I brought the chair.


Jim Matheson, Kay Williams, Tom Chilton, Robin Camerer, Becky Smith, Dale Klein, LuAnn Klein, Linda LeClaire, Carol Berry, Jennifer Topping, Olive Swan, Andy Hilton, JoAnne Unger, Dan Craig.

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