The Patterson-McCormick mansion was built in 1893 by Stanford White for Elinor Medill, daughter of former mayor and Chicago Tribune publisher, Joseph Medill, and her husband, Robert Patterson. Robert Patterson was a Tribune journalist who later became the publisher of the paper.
The couple's son, Joseph Medill Patterson, was the founder and publisher of the New York Daily News. Their daughter Alicia Patterson was the founder and editor of Newsday, and another daughter, Cissy, was the founder and publisher of the Washington Times-Herald. Joseph's grandson, Joseph Medill Patterson Albright, was married (1959-1982) to Madeleine Albright, who would become US secretary of state under President Clinton.
Alcoholism and turmoil ran through the Medill family. Cissy was an alcoholic who had lifelong conflicts with both her mother, Elinor, and her daughter, Felicia. A brief account of their troubles appears in this 1999 obituary for Felicia, who committed suicide.
During the 1920s, the Patterson-McCormick mansion was purchased by Cyrus McCormick II (of reaper family fame)
There is also a Medill-McCormick family connection. Elinor Medill Patterson's sister, Kate Medill, was married to Robert S. McCormick, a nephew of Cyrus. A couple of years ago, I posted a photo and story about their son, US Senator Medill McCormick. The chronically depressed and alcoholic Senator McCormick committed suicide in 1925 at the age of 48.
The Patterson-McCormick mansion was converted to condos in 1978.
A scandal and more photos below the fold.
You might also know that the architect for this building, Stanford White, was murdered in 1906 at Madison Square Roof Garden by millionaire Harry Thaw, husband of popular actress Evelyn Nesbitt (photo). Thaw was furious when he learned that White had had an affair with Nesbitt when White was age 47 and Nesbitt was just 16.
At trial, Thaw was found not guilty by reason of insanity based on false testimony given by Nesbitt who was offered a divorce and $1 million to lie. Nesbitt accepted the deal and performed as instructed, but she was never paid the $1 million.
A fictionalized account of the White murder was portrayed in the 1975 E.L. Doctorow novel, Ragtime (film, 1981)
Several years after his release from a hospital for the criminally insane, Thaw was charged with whipping and sexually assaulting Fred Gump, Jr., a high school student. Thaw was again found not guilty by reason of insanity.