Statement of Significance (as of designation - July 31, 2003):
Designed by one of Chicagos most important 19th century architects, William W. Boyington, Terrace Hill stood out as an immense undertaking in both scale and finish when it was constructed between 1866 and 1868. Terrace Hill is an exceptional example of the French Second Empire Style. Unlike the revivalist Gothic or Renaissance styles, the Second Empire was considered a "modern style." In urban settings, its chief feature, the mansard roof, allowed the enlargement of confined attics into habitable spaces with a resulting verticality for many of the designs. Use of this style for domestic architecture became stylish by the mid-1850s in America, with examples built into the 1880s in various parts of the country. Today, Terrace Hill represents a pure, minimally altered, Second Empire building constructed for domestic use at the height of the style in the United States.