The Midlothian Country Club, by Jeffrey Bussean

I hold a membership at the Midlothian Country Club, an historic golf and country club located in Cook County, Illinois. I have a particular fondness of historic restoration and led efforts to convert the Patrick Haley Mansion into an elegant event venue. The Midlothian Country Club underwent an extensive renovation in the late 1990s and continues to hold the reputation as one of the most well-kept historic golf courses in the country. The club’s origins date back to the 1890s, when a group of Chicago businessmen discovered an area to the southwest of the city that was ideally shaped for golf. A country club was quickly incorporated, kept secret to everyone but members. Eventually, locals began to notice high-profile individuals boarding trains toward Rock Island after work. Through sleuthing, they discovered the club, which instantly became famous.

Originally, the Midlothian Country Club consisted of a 9-hole course, but this was eventually expanded to 18 holes. Members had to score 72 or less in order to gain access to the full course. Starting in 1901, the Midlothian Country Club began hosting a number of professional and amateur tournaments. The Western Open and Western Amateur were both held at the club that year, and a few years later the Midlothian hosted the Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s United States Amateur. Competition events continued until 1973 before taking a two-decade hiatus. As of 1991, the Midlothian Cup, a member-guest tournament, was reintroduced. The club offers a number of membership levels.

At the highest level, members receive full access to all facilities as well as voting rights and invitations to exclusive events. Other memberships are available for young professionals, for the children of members, and for those interested in the non-golf aspects of the club. Finally, individuals who live over 100 miles from the club may purchase a non-resident membership for a reduced price.

About Jeffrey Bussean: Active in historic restoration and the catering industry, Jeffrey Bussean manages the activities of Bussean Enterprises. He enjoys music, art, yachting, and car restorations in his spare time.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust by Jeffrey Bussean

Source: Historic American Buildings Survey, The Library of Congress. Posted at Wikimedia Commons.

As President of Bussean Enterprises in Worth, Illinois, I oversee maintenance and operation of several historic buildings such as the Patrick C. Haley Mansion in Joliet, the Grand Ballroom at Joliet Union Station, and the Chateau Bu-Sché in Alsip. I have longstanding interest in architecture and historical preservation, and was involved in preventing the demolition of an historic Joliet mansion through transportation to another location. I am currently a Member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the Chicago-area legacy of one of the world’s most noted 20th century architects. The Trust was founded as the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation in 1974 with the mission of acquiring and preserving the Oak Park office where Wright pioneered his influential Prairie School.

Characterized by strong integration of structure with environment through use of spare architectural elements, such as horizontal lines, overhanging eaves, and windows arranged in horizontal orientation, the Prairie School contributed to Wright’s design legacy. Wright’s Oak Park home and studio serves as a classic example of this aesthetic, and was successfully renovated into an historic house museum by the Home and Studio Foundation in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation over the next 13 years. In 1997, the Home and Studio Foundation began a second major project in overseeing the renovation of Wright’s Robie House on the University of Chicago campus. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust took its current name in 2000, reflecting the organization’s dual restoration and stewardship functions.

As funds have become available, the Trust’s team has actively restored the Robie House during the past 10 years. The Trust oversees a dedicated staff of 500 volunteers who lead more than 100,000 visitors annually on tours of the Oak Park home and studio, as well as the Robie House. In 2010 the Trust opened an office at the historic Rookery Building in downtown Chicago, which features one of Wright’s most striking interiors, a central light court. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust provides valuable services in maintaining and promoting Chicago’s rich architectural legacy and I recommend supporting the group at gowright.org.