Sunday, August 7, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park

We headed just outside the city to Oak Park, IL on day 3.  Oak Park is a suburb of Chicago well known for having the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s properties in the world.

We started off with a tour of his home and attached design studio. 
Unfortunately, photographs were not allowed inside the home or studio.  Which is too bad, because so much of it is unique and quite modern for its time.

After the tour, we wandered around the neighborhood looking for other homes that Wright designed.  We had a map of the neighborhood that listed which homes were his, however most of them weren’t too hard to pick out due to his original style.

The first few homes we spotted actually didn’t look too much like what he is famous for.  They are his earlier homes, known the “bootleg houses”.  

I like them a lot – not as linear as his later ones. 

As we walked in and out of streets, his known style became more pronounced.  Here are just a few. I’m not necessarily a huge fan of his style, but really appreciated our visit because his design and his life were so interesting.

Stumbling upon Ernest Hemingway's childhood home was a nice surprise while in Oak Park. 
My most (The Sun Also Rises) and least (The Old Man and the Sea) favorite books read in school were written by Hemingway.  

Oak Park is a beautiful neighborhood.  We had a nice visit.


  1. I like some of his stuff, but mostly I feel there is a feel of these are what the Bros' Grimm would build as sets for their tales. Or better the Smurfs.
    Where I think he is utterly brilliant is when he is bringing the wild into the tame of the house.

  2. Oh, I don't believe that the urn on the balustrade in photo #7 is true to the design. I think it's #7. The vertical lines caped with an A-frame.

  3. I would love to do that tour. So much fun! : ) Glad you enjoyed learning about him.

  4. @Vince - That's my feeling too. Falling Water is such an amazing concept. He attempted to bring nature inside with his home in Oak Park. There was a large tree in the way so they built around it, cutting a hole in the ceiling. Every so often they had to cut the hole larger. However, the tree eventually died and was removed. You're probably right about the urn. The plaque to the side of the picture explained that the 3rd and 4th floors were destroyed in a fire. The redesign was done by Wright himself, so who knows if it in his plan or added later. Here's info about the house...

  5. @Becky - It was a great day! I've read some books about his lif. He sure was an interesting (and scandelous)man.

  6. So cool. I'm glad you got to see all of these places.

  7. Did you get to see the place he rebuilt after the murder/fire? Cool!

  8. @Jlo - No, that's Taliesan in Wisconsin. But Oak Park is the neighborhood where he met Mamah.

  9. I would really like to visit Chicago some time. We are getting ready to Mo. and I will definitly get up there.