Along with the South Pond and Lincoln Park Zoo, the landmark buildings of Caf? Brauer and Carlson Cottage have served Chicago for more than 100 years. Their history parallels the growth of the pond—and the city around it.
Timeless Elegance—Caf? Brauer
A beautiful example of prairie-style architecture, Caf? Brauer overlooks the pond's northwest end. Designed by Dwight Perkins, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright, the building was built in 1908.
While Caf? Brauer is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it had fallen into neglect after being closed to the public in the 1930's. The Lincoln Park Zoological Society led a full restoration in 1987, taking over management and extending its wonders to guests once more.
A Building with Roots—Carlson Cottage
Carlson Cottage has stood by the South Pond since 1888. Designed by architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee, a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, the building originally served as a Men's and Ladies' Comfort Station—a public restroom.
The building has since become the home of Lincoln Park Zoos' volunteer gardening program, offering a resting place for rakes, shovels and hoes. It has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a Chicago Landmark. A recent renovation restored the building's landmark look, but not the old function. Public restrooms are found elsewhere.