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Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois, is the former estate of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.

Lobby, First Division Museum, Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Ill.
Lobby, First Division Museum, Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Ill.
Photo: Courtesy of Cantigny Park

“There’s no other place quite like Cantigny Park due to the variety of attractions we offer,” said Jeff Reiter, senior manager, communications. “Some people visit just for the expansive gardens, some for the historic home museum and some for the military museum. You can experience all three during a single visit, of course.”

McCormick’s residence, the McCormick House, is a historic home museum.

The site’s other museum, the First Division Museum, was completely renovated in 2017. It’s on the site because McCormick served in World War I with the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division.

“He was a true ‘citizen soldier’ and was extremely proud of his service,” Reiter said. “In fact, when he returned from the war, he renamed his estate Cantigny, after a small village in France that the First Division liberated from German occupation.”

McCormick House was McCormick’s home until his death in 1955. Visitors are immersed in his legacy of journalism, history, architecture, politics, First Amendment issues, patriotism and philanthropy.

Trained docents guide McCormick House tours. Group tours may be arranged in advance. 

A typical Cantigny Park visit lasts three or four hours, which gives groups time to stroll the gardens and visit one, if not both, museums.

Some groups enjoy lunch at Le Jardin, the restaurant in the visitors center.

Groups that bring their own food and drink may use the picnic tables in a picnic grove. A brand-new pavilion can be rented.

Motorcoach parking is available, and there is a bus lane for easy drop off and pick up. While there is a fee for a motorcoach to enter and park at Cantigny, there is no admission charge for the gardens and museums.

For more information on Cantigny Park call 630-668-5161 or visit cantigny.org.