In top hat and signature red cravat, Mr. Farson hosted many a get together here. The grand hall, dining room and attached porch providing plenty of room for revelry.
So who hired Maher to design this palatial palace anyway? It was self-made millionaire banker John W. Farson (1855-1910) who was one of Oak Park’s most legendary turn-of-the century figures. Referred to as “Oak Park’s Prince of Entertainers,” Farson was famous for his immaculate white flannel suits, red cravats and ties and top hats or straw boaters. He gathered around him a vast circle of friends, and amazed Oak Parkers with his public-spirited nature and high energy, hosting band concerts on his property that were open to all Oak Parkers.
Guests arrived by carriage, alighting under the porte cochere on Pleasant Street and entered the hall near the fireplace. Above the carriage entrance in the hall is an oak panel carved with a lyre and inscribed “Music,” alluding to the room on the staircase landing where musicians were stationed.
Once inside, the fire blazing in the hearth warmed the company. To imagine what a party might have been like at this lovely home, watch the following video.