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The Wheeler Mansion

The Wheeler Mansion was originally constructed in 1867 by Calvin T. Wheeler, who was the President of the Chicago Board of Trade at the time. Different families and businesses bought the mansion over the next 100 years until it was planned to be demolished. Instead, in 1997, the current owner purchased the property and converted it into a bed and breakfast. Ten rooms are available for reservations, and all of the rooms are categorized into three types: Signature Spa Suite, Luxury Suite, and Luxury Rooms. The mansion is open year-round for reservations and events. The backyard has a maximum occupancy of 250 people and is often used for weddings and other activities. Amenities offered on the property include 24-7 European coffee, WiFi, and private bathrooms with towels, shampoos, and soaps.


The Wheeler Mansion is located in the city of Chicago, Illinois. In the mansion, there are ten guest rooms available for reservation. All of the rooms are categorized into three types; Luxury Room, Luxury Suite, and Signature Spa Suite. Nine rooms include queen-sized beds, while the last unit has a king-size bed. According to David, the manager, the most popular unit offered at the mansion is one of the Signature Spa Suites due to the jet spa tub, it a relatively bigger room, and the king-size bed. Each room includes a private bathroom with a standing shower. The rooms are styled to the same time era, but each has individually styled décor. Amenities in the units include a flatscreen TV, iron and ironing board, and shoeshine, to name a few. The mansion itself offers amenities such as 24-hour European coffee, complimentary snacks, free parking, and WiFi. While these rooms are reserved for individual guests, other rooms are located in the building and available to any patron. Such common areas include a living room, dining room, and a front and back yard. The backyard is relatively large, with a max occupancy of 250 people. Occasionally, the business hosts weddings on the property in the backyard and offers ministerial services if needed due to David being an ordained minister. David describes himself as the “jack of all trades” on the property since he holds responsibilities such as manager, cook, and “handyman,” to name a few.

Breakfast is served at The Wheeler Mansion every day to patrons between 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM, in the dining room. David describes the meal served at the mansion as a “basic breakfast,” which includes eggs, meat, fresh fruit, yogurt, orange juice, and toast. David says the meal is freshly made by him every morning. If guests have food restrictions or dietary needs, he also says he is willing to make accommodations. To do this, he asks patrons when they book and also when they check-in if they have any restrictions.

The mansion rests on 1.3 acres of land, which provides space for visitors to participate in activities. Such activities available to guests include outdoor games such as table tennis, cornhole, volleyball, and croquet. Sitting areas with tables are provided outside, including a pergola with lights strung up to be used during the night. “ Historical museum atmosphere” is how the manager describes the inside of the mansion, which has reportedly been styled to 1800 and 1900s décor.


The Wheeler Mansion is open year-round to guests unless one individual books the whole building for several weeks. When this occurs, the company will post that the building is closed on its website. The busiest season of operation for the business tends to be from May to September when the months are warmer. Events are often hosted at the property when visitors rent the outside area for parties or activities. Patrons who come usually don’t come for leisure; according to David, the manager, instead, they come to explore the surrounding area. The Convention Center is down the road from the business, which is “why about 70% of [the] guests stay here,” says David. Other than that, he says that visitors come to the area to visit Chicago and family. Specific attractions include Millenium Park, 18th Street Bridge, Lake Michigan Beach, an aquarium, and the Navy Pier, which has a carousel and boat tours. When guests are looking for a place to eat in the area, the manager recommends they try Pilsaen Yards, a Mexican restaurant, II Culaccino, an Italian restaurant, Fat Core, and Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta which is down the block from the mansion.

The property aims to provide customer satisfaction to its patrons; David accredits this by saying, “if they aren’t happy, we aren’t happy.” One patron remarked that “We had a wonderful stay at the Wheeler Mansion. It was not only a very pleasant stay but the restoration and décor of the mansion was amazing. The breakfast was also delicious.” Some guests who stay at The Wheeler Mansion come back as repeat guests, some even annually. David says that lots of their patrons find the mansion through word of mouth from past guests. All visitors who stay at the mansion are expected to follow the policies established by the business. Such policies include no smoking due to the historic nature of the building. Pets are permitted on the property; however, they must be under 40 pounds, and guests must pay a non-refundable pet fee. Only four of the ten rooms allow pets, while the other rooms restrict animals.


David, the manager of the property, has been working at The Wheeler Mansion for the past six years. The current owners of the business were the ones to open the mansion as a bed and breakfast. In previous years there were 11 rooms available to guests; however, the current owners are currently converting one of them into a bar area since it is located on the bottom floor of the mansion.

When the mansion was first purchased by the current owners, they decided that it needed a total restoration, so they designated two years for renovation. The building was gutted to its original structure to allow for it to be updated; the owners made sure to style the mansion to its original history and time period. In September of 1999, after reconstruction, the bed and breakfast officially opened. The surrounding area has other mansions that were saved; however, according to the manager, the Wheeler Mansion is the only one on its block.

The original owner of the house, Calvin T. Wheeler, started to construct the Wheeler Mansion in 1867 while he served as the President of the Chicago Board of Trade, which was important during that time according to David. Calvin commissioned Otis Wheellock to build the house, while the décor was inspired by French architecture. In 1874, Calvin sold the house to Joseph Kohn and his family. This family lived in the mansion for 34 years, marking them as the longest family to live in the building. After the Kohn family lived there, a publishing company bought the property, and it continued to be purchased by different companies throughout the years until it was bought by the city and left abandoned for 15 years. In 1997 the current owners purchased the building because it was going to be torn down, and the space would have been converted into a parking lot. Instead, the owner converted the relatively old mansion into a bed and breakfast.

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2020 S. Calumet Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60616
United States


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