171. Martin Mitchell Mansion

When George Martin began constructing his three story brick house in 1883, it was situated on the rural edge of downtown Naperville. Surrounded by 212 acres, the house stood like a castle overseeing farmland and Martin’s rock quarry pits, which had furnished many of the foundations upon which the town’s buildings rest. Martin hired an architect to design a house that celebrated his success as a businessman. Brick from Martin’s Brick and Tile Company, slate from Vermont for the roof shingles, and a stately porch with pillars combined to make a grand and eclectic Victorian house. The Martins themselves represented a typical Victorian success story. While most Napervillians still ate in the kitchen, Martin, his wife and their four children could leave behind the dynamite blasts and dust of the quarry for fine meals in a dining room. In honor of their Scottish heritage, the Martins named their estate Pinecraig. George Martin died only five years after the completion of his house. The estate was eventually left to his daughter Caroline, who deeded it to the city of Naperville as a museum and park in 1936.