Cuneo Museum and Gardens (Images of America)

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9780738561868: Cuneo Museum and Gardens (Images of America)
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Book by Byrne John B

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Title: Cuneo Museum chronicled in new book
Author: Vincent Pierri
Publisher: Daily Herald
Date: 1/18/2009


John B. Byrne says it seems like fate that he would author a book about the Cuneo Museum and Gardens.


His family has a nearly 100-year association to the 32-room Vernon Hills mansion. He's worked for the Cuneo family for more than 30 years and still lives in a house on the property.


The life and history of the 31,000-square-foot Italian-style villa is the subject of a new book written by Byrne that will be published at the end of the month.


The operations manager for the museum, Byrne was contacted by the publisher last summer. "This was a natural for me," he said.


South Carolina-based Arcadia Publishing has more than 5,000 titles in its popular Images of America series. The books chronicle the history of towns, villages and cities across the nation.


Byrne's book is packed with more than 200 historical photographs tracing the history of the manor from the days it was built by utility baron Samuel Insull in 1914 and through the years the Cuneo family occupied the estate.


For Byrne, it was more than just collecting interesting facts about the place. His family has connections to the house going back to 1915. His great uncle Lawrence Byrne emigrated from Ireland and found work as a groundskeeper for the Insulls. Byrne's grandfather John also worked there in the early 1920s. And by chance, Byrne's father got a job at Cuneo Press in 1950. As part of his compensation package, Cuneo set him up in a home on the property. Byrne himself has worked for the Cuneos for more than 30 years.


After Insull's fortunes collapsed in the Great Depression, the estate was purchased by John Cuneo Sr. in 1937. Cuneo made his fortune in the printing business and also operated the Hawthorn Mellody Dairy. It's all chronicled in the black and white pictures.


Byrne estimates he spent more than 200 hours gathering the material for and writing the 127-page book. "I really enjoyed the process," Byrne said. He gathered the photos from the Cuneo Museum archive and also found images at the Chicago History Museum, Loyola University and Lake Forest College.


Most of the upfront costs of producing the book are paid by the publisher. Byrne said any royalties he receives will be paltry. "I'm not going to rich off this one," he said with a smile.


The book will hit the shelves on Jan. 26.


"This is a great benefit to the museum and hopefully it will spark a new interest in people to visit," Byrne said.

Reseña del editor:

In the early 20th century, prominent Chicago businessmen built luxurious manors south of Libertyville, settling into the lifestyle of Old World country squires. Their estates rivaled the affluent residential enclaves of the eastern establishment in size and opulence, but these midwestern palaces were surrounded by acres of fertile fields. Breeding world-class livestock and implementing state-of-the-art agricultural methods, they created showcase farms. After mid-century, as these gentlemen farmers retired and moved away, most of their properties were sold to developers and the mansions razed. Built for utility tycoon Samuel Insull in 1914, and left by printer John Cuneo Sr. to the family foundation in 1990, the Cuneo Museum, with its furnishings, art collections, and manicured grounds, preserves the grandeur of that earlier era.

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Descripción Arcadia Publishing (SC), United States, 2009. Paperback. Condición: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the early 20th century, prominent Chicago businessmen built luxurious manors south of Libertyville, settling into the lifestyle of Old World country squires. Their estates rivaled the affluent residential enclaves of the eastern establishment in size and opulence, but these midwestern palaces were surrounded by acres of fertile fields. Breeding world-class livestock and implementing state-of-the-art agricultural methods, they created showcase farms. After mid-century, as these gentlemen farmers retired and moved away, most of their properties were sold to developers and the mansions razed. Built for utility tycoon Samuel Insull in 1914, and left by printer John Cuneo Sr. to the family foundation in 1990, the Cuneo Museum, with its furnishings, art collections, and manicured grounds, preserves the grandeur of that earlier era. Nº de ref. del artículo: BZV9780738561868

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