Chicago’s Historic Homes: The Cable Mansion

25 E. ErieOn the southwest corner of Wabash and Erie Streets in Streeterville stands a magnificent Richardsonian Romanesque–style home known as the Cable House.

It was first built in 1886 by builders Cobb and Frost, who erected the home for then-socialite Ransom R. Cable.

Mr. Cable was the president of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company. He began his career as a railroad conductor on what would become the Rock Island and Peoria (RI&P) Railroad. According to Rock Island Argus and Moline Dispatch, the trains hauled coal from nearby mines. Cable eventually advanced in the company and became general manager.  When the mines were drained, Ransom decided to extend the railroad lines through Mercer County to a new coal town ironically called Cable. Eventually, he bought the RI&P and also invested in the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific (CRI&P). He became president of CRI&P, and helped extend many other railroads in his lifetime, including the Burlington, Cedar Rapids, and Northern.

The Cable house on 25 E. Erie Street, was officially declared Chicago Landmark on October 2, 1991. It is among only a few remaining buildings that captures the original, elite residential personality of the neighborhood just west of North Michigan Avenue.

Driehaus Securities Corporation has renovated the former Cable Mansion, and the fairy tale home is now headquarters of Driehaus Capital Management. Owner Richard H. Driehaus, Chicago financier, preservationist and philanthropist, is a notorious major contributor to the historic preservation movement in Illinois.

When Antunovich Associates worked on the restorations, they were meticulous in preserving the house’s elegance. They followed strict guidelines enacted by the City of Chicago Historic Preservation Commission. On the exterior, light fixtures were installed along Wabash and Erie adjacent to the residence, and new landscaping including planters and trees were put in. The interior tips its hat to the elegance of the original era, and it was built up with wood moldings and marble inlay.

This is one home that truly stands out in Streeterville. It is a castle, out of place amid iron and concrete.

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