Help restore the Paul Harris Home

We need your financial support in honoring the founder of Rotary and preserving an important piece of the history of the Rotary movement.

Donate Now to the Paul and Jean Harris Home

Full Match Achieved:

Thanks to the generosity of Gary and Gloria Baumgartner, Naperville, Illinois, donations made to the Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation during January, 2022, up to $20,000 were matched 100%. Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us achieve the maximum value of this matching grant!

All donations received in this period are recognized at the value of the gift plus the match combined.

The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and your gift is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Donate Now to the Paul and Jean Harris Home

The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation appreciates the ongoing support of the Rotary Club of Chicago and Rotary International District 6450.

Home of Paul Harris, original photograph

Who was

Paul Harris?

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905 so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.

Our Foundation works to preserve the home of Paul Harris, and his wife, Jean Thomson Harris, who lived there from 1921 until 1947.

To learn more about the interesting life of Paul Harris, please visit the website of the Rotary Global History Fellowship:

Paul Harris

The Paul and Jean Harris’ Home Foundation

  • The Paul and Jean Harris’ Home Foundation is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation established in 2004 to own and manage the Home of Paul and Jean Harris.

  • Interior renovations are nearly complete, restoring the Home to the condition it was in 1947 when Paul Harris passed away.

  • Rotarians are working together to raise the money necessary to complete the extensive landscaping the the Home enjoyed during Paul’s lifetime. We are also working to retire the debt created in buying and renovating the Home, and to create an endowment to pay for the operation of the Home as a museum.

  • While much work has been done, the Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation needs your help in its quest to restore this Rotary monument to its former glory. Major donors will be recognized on the Home’s Donor Wall and through multiple naming opportunities.

Who is Paul Harris?

Rotary started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905 so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Our Foundation works to preserve the Home of Paul Harris.

Home of Paul Harris, original photograph

We need your help

  • The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation established in 2004 to own and manage the Home of Paul and Jean Harris.

  • Renovations are on underway to restore the Home to the condition it was in on the date in 1947 when Paul Harris passed away.

  • Rotarians are working together to raise the money necessary to retire the debt created in buying and renovating the Home, and create an endowment to pay for the operation of the Home as a museum.

  • While much work has been done, the Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation needs your help in its quest to restore this Rotary monument to its former glory. Major donors will be recognized on the Home’s Donor Wall and through multiple naming opportunities.

Donate

FAQ

Our mission is to have Paul Harris’s Home restored and furnished to look as it did in 1947.

Q: Who was Paul Harris?

A: Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary Club of Chicago and Rotary International.

Q: Who manages the Paul Harris Home?

A: The Home is managed by the Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation, a not-for-profit Illinois corporation established in 2004. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, which permits qualified donors to exempt donations from United States income tax. The purpose of the Foundation is owning, operating, renovating, and maintaining the former Home of Paul and Jean Harris.

Q: Has the Home always been owned by The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation?

A: No. The residence was acquired from a private owner in 2005, 100 years after it was built in 1905. The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation was created to purchase the Home.

Q: Where is the Paul Harris Home located?

A: The Paul Harris Home is at 10856 South Longwood Drive, Chicago, Illinois. It is in the Ridge Historic District in the Beverly neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

Q: What is the Beverly neighborhood like?

A: The Beverly neighborhood is known for its famous architecture, with homes designed by the famed architects Frank Lloyd Wright and George Washington Maher. Beverly has strong Irish heritage roots, displayed in Chicago’s South Side Irish parade. Beverly prides itself on its diverse community and strong community involvement.

Q: How long did Paul Harris live in the Home?

A: Paul and Jean Harris lived in the residence for 35 years, from 1912 until 1947. Paul Harris passed away in the Home on January 27, 1947. Paul Harris is buried two miles away at Mount Hope Cemetery. Jean Harris moved to the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago, then back to her native Scotland, where she is buried.

Q: Is the Home be wheelchair accessible?

A: Yes, the Home is wheelchair accessible, complete with an elevator to take visitors to the visual center in the basement and to the upstairs deck and Paul and Jean Harris’ bedroom.

Q: Is there an entrance fee?

A: No, tours of the Home are conducted for no charge. Currently, tours are by appointment only.

Q: When will the Paul Harris Home be available to visit?

A: The Home is currently available to be visited by appointment only.

Q: How can I help?

A: The Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation appreciates donations of all sizes, with naming opportunities for large donations. Please see the donation page for details:

Q: What work has been done, and what remains to complete the renovation?

A: By the time the Home was purchased in 2005 on the eve of the Centennial Rotary International Convention, the Home had experienced years of neglect. The outside of the Home was presentable, but the inside needed much attention and care. These circumstances provided the Paul and Jean Harris Home Foundation with the exciting opportunity to renovate the home and return it to its 1947 condition, while creating a visitor center for visiting Rotarians from around the world. The initial phase of the renovations, including construction of the events center (Rotary Room), reconstruction of the interior of the Home, and an exterior patio, is substantially complete. Currently, we are working on furnishing the Home with authentic furniture and other artifacts. Next, we will be creating exhibits to showcase the history of the Home, recreating the International Peace Garden, installing an audio-visual center in the basement, and adding additional landscaping. These renovations will be completed as donations become available.

Q: What is inside the Home?

A: The Home is being restored and furnished to look as it did in 1947. For example, visitors will experience the parlor as Rotarians did when they came to visit the Harris’s. The doors and light fixtures have been refurbished, if original, or replaced to replicate the look of the Home as seen in pictures from Paul Harris’ life. Soon, Rotary memorabilia that has been collected and preserved by the Rotary Club of Chicago and interested Rotarians will be inventoried and used to create permanent and temporary exhibits showcasing the history of Rotary.

Q: Is the space available for events?

A: Yes. As part of the renovation, a meeting and event space has been added to the rear of the Home. Contact us for information on the use of that space.

Help restore the Home of Rotary’s founder

This is your opportunity to be part of the restoration.

Donate Now to the Paul and Jean Harris Home

450+

Donors

Thank you to the incredible donors who have already contributed.

160+

Rotary clubs

Thank you to the generous clubs who have already donated.

$1.6M

Raised

Our goal is $3-5 million to complete the renovation and operate the Home as a museum.

Tour the Paul and Jean Harris Home

Interested in a Tour of the Paul and Jean Harris Home?

Tours of the Home are now available by appointment.

Please let us know at least seven days in advance so we can arrange a guided tour.

For more information, please contact Cheryl McIntyre at:
Phone: +1 (734) 735-6649
cherylmcintyre@gmail.com

Be Part of the Legacy

We need your help to preserve the Paul & Jean Harris Home!

Join the over 450+ Rotarians and Benefactors who have already donated!

Donate