The history of King-Bruwaert House originates from the start of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago where Suzanne King, a prominent Chicago socialite, met Francois Edmond Bruwaert who was the French Consul General to the United States. The couple married in May, 1894. During various ambassadorships and assignments, the Bruwaerts traveled extensively throughout Europe and viewed many medical facilities that impressed them. Upon Edmund’s retirement in 1911, the couple settled in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Following the death of her husband in 1927, Mrs. Bruwaert became concerned that so many women of refinement had no place to turn for care and comfort in pleasant surroundings during their later years. In her hand-written will, Suzanne King-Bruwaert left a substantial estate for the purpose of creating a safe haven for women. She referenced healthcare places in France that would serve as model sites for the King-Bruwaert home.
Suzanne King-Bruwaert died in 1928 and her appointed trustees carried out the dictates of her will. In 1931, the trustees purchased a 35-acre land parcel on which King-Bruwaert House was constructed. The building was completed in 1933 and the first residents moved into the 80-room home in April, 1933.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Burry, Jr. undertook the task of decorating King-Bruwaert House. The imported crystal chandeliers in the main dining room, the butternut wood paneling in the library, the beautiful arches, wood molding and hand-carved fireplace mantels remain in place today, still as beautiful as they were when the house first opened.
King-Bruwaert House has been highly successful throughout the years because a succession of directors and administrators responded to the changing needs of senior adults. In January, 1979, the historic Godair Home merged with King-Bruwaert House, allowing the admission of women, men and couples. The merger paved the way for King-Bruwaert House to serve a broader segment of the community and keep pace with new trends within the continuous care industry.
King-Bruwaert House continues its mission of providing exceptional care and services to senior adults in comfortable, elegant surroundings in a natural, wooded setting. Renovations continue to our historic building and every effort is made to maintain the integrity of its European influence and commitment to quality care.