Ten miles outside of downtown Chicago lies the house where Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899.
The Ernest Hemingway Museum and House welcomes fans of the famous American writer seven days a week. The two buildings are located within the Oak Park neighborhood and are only a short walk away from each other.
The museum houses a wonderful collection of Hemingway memorabilia including a rare look into his early years through his childhood diary, photos from his early life, and some of his first writings. His birthplace is a lavish Victorian style home and the exhibits focus on Hemingway’s roots. Tours of both buildings are available and are guided by members of the museum staff.
Hemingway’s grandparents built the 5,500 square-foot home in Oak Park, one of Chicago’s oldest neighborhoods. It was sold when Hemingway was six years old. The house was purchased by the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park in 1992. The museum opened in 1991 and includes a gift shop selling all things Hemingway. The museum is the only place in the United States where the four-part BBC documentary on Hemingway can be seen. The documentary has been banned everywhere else by Hemingway’s family.
These attractions are a must-see for Hemingway fans. While visiting these two literary gems, you can enjoy the Victorian architecture contrasted against the modern architecture of another of Oak Park’s famous residents, Frank Lloyd Wright. His home and studio are just a couple of blocks away to the northwest.