Chicago's Only Castle: The History of Givins' Irish Castle and Its Keepers w/ DVD

SKU: 9789910863622

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This price reflects a special Bookie's new release price. Members get an additional discount to be taken before the sale is finalized! Additionally, this price INCLUDES the companion DVD!

Chicago's Only Castle w/DVD!

If you love seeing historic images of Chicago and reading about Chicago’s history from the late 1860s on, this book, in color with over 400 images, is for you. Chicago’s Only Castle: The History of Givins’ Irish Castle and Its Keepers regales its reader with the history of a treasure buried on Chicago's far Southwest Side of which few people beyond the neighborhood seem to be aware. The compelling stories of the five keepers of the Castle unfold against the backdrop of, and directly connect to, Chicago’s rich history, including the Great Chicago Fire, the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, the cable-car era, the dawn of the automobile, and the Century of Progress International Exposition of 1933-34. The inspiration behind the building, and its first occupant, was Robert Cartwright Givins, a Renaissance man of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Givins was a well-known real estate developer active across the Chicago area, a popular novelist of his day, a vocal citizens’ advocate, and a globetrotter whose travel reviews were published in the Chicago Evening Post. He was at one time announced in local papers as a candidate for mayor of Chicago. In addition to Givins, Julia Thayer of the Chicago Female College, the Burdett family, the Siemens family, and Beverly Unitarian Church have been “keepers” of the Castle, and their dynamic stories are told in the book. Thayer was a poet and president of the Chicago Female College, a finishing school for girls, that was housed in the Castle for a time, J. B. Burdett, was an inventor and an early automobilist. With his wife, Jessie, Burdett won one of the earliest automobile races in Chicago, the 40-mile journey to Joliet held in 1901. Miroslaw Siemens, a prominent Chicago physician of Ukrainian descent, was a founder of the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago and a benefactor of St. Nicholas Catholic Cathedral when it first opened as a church. He was the leader of the group that sponsored the Ukrainian National Pavilion at Chicago’s Century of Progress World’s Fair held in 1933-34. Beverly Unitarian Church, the last Castle-keeper, has a long history beginning in the Englewood neighborhood supporting equal rights, justice for all, seeking truth, and helping the less fortunate.

Elliott Krick, film critic and teacher in the Liberal Education for Adults program at the University of Chicago, wrote: “Both the documentary film and now this wonderful book reflect the ineluctable ‘pulse’ which vibrates through the time continuum which we call ‘history,’ but adds in quite a pivotal way to our understanding of how history and psychology serve to buttress our understanding of the true breadth of ourselves—past, present and future.”

In addition to the foreword by Elliot Krick and the preface by Errol Magidson, there is a prologue giving an early history of the area where the Castle was built, 14 chapters, an acknowledgments and credits section, a references section, and an index. The chapters are as follows:

I. Introduction, II. Givins Family History, III. Givins Family, IV. Givins and His Castle, V. Givins: Renaissance Man, VI. Chicago Female College, VII. Burdett Family, VIII. Siemens Family, IX. Beverly Unitarian Church: The Beginning, X. Beverly Unitarian Church: Visser Family, XI. Beverly Unitarian Church: Children’s Addition, XII. Beverly Unitarian Church: Chrysalis and Beyond, XIII. Ghosts, and XIV. Conclusion.

This book comes with a complimentary copy of the documentary of the same name!

The proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to The Castle Building Fund to help rescue, preserve and maintain this precious landmark.



This price reflects a special Bookie's new release price. Members get an additional discount to be taken before the sale is finalized! Additionally, this price INCLUDES the companion DVD!

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Price: $43.96