The Henry B. “Widow” Clarke House is Chicago’s oldest surviving structure. It is a Greek Revival structure built circa 1836. Around 1871, the house was moved from its original location to a lot six miles south, and it remained there until 1977, when it was purchased by the City of Chicago. The moving task was complicated by the large size of the house, the elevated public transit railroad tracks that separated the two sites and by a stipulation that it must remain intact. Furthermore, a great deal of the original material was present and vulnerable to damage.
HPZS was engaged to plan the relocation of the house to a site in the Prairie Avenue Historic District and prepare a restoration program. Historical research was completed to document the building’s appearance circa 1855, and the house was restored to that condition. Construction documents describing the restoration requirements were prepared; the rehabilitation work was completed and today Clarke House is a house museum operated by the City of Chicago. HPZS received a Distinguished Building Award from AIA Chicago for this restoration project.