Charnley-Persky House Archaeological Project

Project Information


This web exhibit provides a glimpse into the consumer habits of the men, women, and children who lived on Chicago's Gold Coast at the turn of the 20th Century. Selected artifacts recovered from excavations at the Charnley-Persky House (11CK1248*) in 2010 and 2015 provide the first look at these consumer choices as the sites of manufacture or point of sale are mapped in relation to their final place of deposit and each other.

Faculty Chicago Fellow - Chicago Archaeological Fellow

Dr. Rebecca S Graff is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in Lake Forest College’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Digital Chicago Grant's Chicago Archaeological Fellow for 2015-2018. Graff is a historical archaeologist with research interests in the relationship between temporality, modernity, memory, material culture, tourism, and nostalgic consumption in late-19th- and early-20th-century Chicago. Her archival and archaeological work includes research on the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and the Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Charnley-Persky House. 

For questions and comments, please reach her at

Chicago Fellows Year


Chicago Fellows Research Assistants

Rebecca Howell (Lake Forest College BA 2017, Theater and Sociology & Anthropology) and Anne Marie Brugioni (Lake Forest College BA 2016, Sociology & Anthropology) were the project's first Chicago Fellows Research Assistants through the Digital Chicago program.

Brugioni participated in the 2015 excavation and field school (SOAN 205) at the Charnley-Persky House, helped to outfit and set up the Historic Archaeology Laboratory at Lake Forest College, and took SOAN 225. She is currently interning at the Marietta Museum of History in Atlanta, Georgia.

Howell was the lead developer of this website, as well as a participant in the Historic Artifact Analysis course (SOAN 225, Fall 2015). Howell combines her historical and anthropological research skills with her interests in stage managing and improv. After graduating, Howell will be participating in the Teach Kentucky program.

In Fall 2016, Lexie Nogulich (expected BA Lake Forest College 2019, Sociology & Anthropology and Communication), joined the project. 

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Society+of+Architectural+Historians">Society of Architectural Historians</a>

Partner Organization

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), a "nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide" have their administrative headquarters at the Charnley-Persky House, which they operate as the National Landmark Charnley-Persky House Museum. All artifacts on view in this exhibit are property of the SAH and will hopefully be on display in the near future.