Life long Chicagoans have no doubt passed the spooky, weathered mausoleum in Lincoln Park with the one-word inscription, "COUCH." Ostensibly, it holds the remains of one Ira Couch, because, after all, Lincoln Park used to be the site of City Cemetery. Sealed for more than a century, the crypt may be the final resting place of Ira (who died in 1857), up to eight family members or no one at all. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed official records. It's all a mystery, especially why this lone home for the dead remains in the otherwise bucolic Lincoln Park. The crypt cost $7,000 to build back then, a mere pittance of the fortune that Couch made in Chicago real estate and hotels. The 50-ton crypt was designed by John M. Van Osdel. Chicago's first professional architect, who also designed the first City Hall and Couch's 1850 Tremont House Hotel.
2045 N Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60614
Map / Directions
Historic Sites: "The tomb is on a grassy knoll in Lincoln Park, just south of LaSalle Drive."
Best for Historic Sites Because: Every Chicagoan who died between 1842-1866 was buried in City Cemetery (now Lincoln Park) including thousands of Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers.