Givins Castle was built in 1886 by Robert C. Givins, the three story castle, with its three crenellated towers, was built from limestone hauled from a quarry near Joliet. Apparently, Givins lived in his castle until 1894, then again from 1904 to 1909 when he moved to San Francisco where he died in 1915. John B. Burdett, a manufacturer, purchased the castle in 1909. He had it wired for electricity, installed additional radiators, and made other changes. He sold the castle in 1921, for $7,000, to Dr. Miroslaw Siemens. "The Castle" fell upon hard times with the coming of the Depression; Dr. Siemens filed bankruptcy in 1935, and it was put into a trust in 1937. The Beverly Unitarian Fellowship bought the castle in 1942, for $14,000.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

Givins Castle is situated on the corner of 103rd and Longwood in the south-side neighborhood known as Beverly. In addition to being one of Chicago's most unique structures, Givins Castle has the added distinction of being situated on the highest elevation in the city of Chicago. If you're in the area, a visit is in order, both for the castle and to view spectacular homes in this historically Irish and sigularly charming neighborhood.

On 1-18-10, I received e-mail that said:

I'm a member of the Men of the Castle, a group whose mission is to preserve The Castle, and am doing research on The Castle in the Beverly area of Chicago, which you have identified as "Givens Castle." Robert C. Givins was the owner who had the castle built for his family.

We have a webpage here:

On 5-25-10, I received e-mail that said:

I've updated the history section of Beverly Unitarian Church, the last and current castle-keepers of the Givins Castle in Chicago. I should mention it is also known as The Irish Castle. I'm still working on the documentary on Our Castle on the Hill: The History of Chicago's Irish Castle and Its Keepers. The Siemens family lived in the Castle until it was sold in 1942 to Beverly Unitarian Fellowship which later changed its name to Beverly Unitarian Church.

Use this link to go to the short history section:

Of course, the detailed history of the Castle keepers will not be available until I finish the documentary.

On 12-8-17, I received e-mail that said:

The book, Chicago's Only Castle, is finally finished. It's 8 1/2 by 11-inches, 288 pages, with over 400 images, many in color. The book has 14 chapters, as well as a foreword by film critic Elliott Krick, a prologue by Linda Lamberty (editor of the book), a preface, an acknowledgments and credits section, a references section, and an index. By coincidence, Chapter 13 is on ghosts.

Here's a short preview of the book: If you love seeing historic images of Chicago and reading about Chicago’s history from the late 1860s on, this book, in color with over 400 images, is for you. Chicago’s Only Castle: The History of Givins’ Irish Castle and Its Keepers regales its reader with the history of a treasure buried on Chicago's far Southwest Side, of which few people beyond the neighborhood seem to be aware. The compelling stories of the five keepers of the Castle unfold against the backdrop of, and directly connect to, Chicago’s rich history, including the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, the cable-car era, the dawn of the automobile, the Century of Progress International Exposition of 1933-34, and myriad little-known details about Chicago’s past.

All proceeds from the sale of the book go to The Castle Building Fund to help preserve this landmark. The book can be ordered at Bookies or by going to our website at
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