Inside Story

The Man Who Built the CAA

In addition to designing the Chicago Athletic Association...


With its majestic 250-foot Venetian Gothic tower and its bas-relief woodcarving19th Century stained glass windows and ornate marble staircases, famed architect Henry Ives Cobb, also designed a number of other significant Chicago buildings, including the Newberry Library, Potter Palmer’s mansion (which once sat on Lake Shore Drive between Schiller and Banks streets, but was demolished in 1950), Union Club of Chicago, the Chicago Federal Building and numerous buildings at the University of Chicago and Lake Forest College. Somebody was busy!

Fun fact: Cobb’s grandmother, Augusta Adams Cobb, ran off on his grandfather and seven of their nine children and fled to Utah where she married … wait for it … Brigham Young as a plural wife! Scandal!

Fun Fact 2: Cobb eventually left Chicago for Washington, D.C. because the grime in Chicago at the time apparently ruined his prized art collection.

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