Thursday, November 17, 2016

Prairie Style

Last weekend we took a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright House and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois. Oak Park is home to the largest collection of the architect's buildings and structures built between 1889 and 1913. This building was the home of the Wright family from 1889 to 1909 and was where Wright developed his prairie style of architecture.

Photo of Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

I had read the book Loving Frank a few years ago - a fictionalization of the life of Mamah Cheney, best known as the woman who wrecked Frank Lloyd Wright's first marriage. While I did not have a great impression of this man after reading the book (creative genius - perhaps, but his private life was sure a mess), it was interesting to learn more about the creative process that drove him, see his designs up close and learn about the development of his prairie style of architecture. 

Wright hated too much "floating" furniture and so designed the house with clean lines and many built ins.

Window in bathroom designed to afford light but also privacy as well.

This bathroom was the only one in the house and was considered a luxury at the time.

The nursery, which doubled as Wright's wife Catherine's sewing room.

An easy chair set into a little nook so she could sit and sew while the children napped or played

EVERYTHING was superbly designed, even the floor grates

The Drafting studio

Wright's office.

200-year-old gingko tree.

Walked past some really pretty homes in the area.

We learned an awful lot about design and saw how nature influenced so much of Wright's work. I highly recommend this tour if you're ever visiting the Chicago area and like learning about and wandering through old houses. 

A good day. Capped off the tour with a nice lunch at a local restaurant.


Robin McGuire said...

Kathy,thanks for the tour! I love the combination nursery/sewing room. But my fabric would never fit!

Martine said...

I know it' s a great area, I did the tour and walked around the whole after noon ( already 4 years ago, time flies) Hugs Martine

Beth C said...

Thank you for the virtual tour and great photos of the Wright house. Loved seeing the old Singer in the nursery. The baby bed needs a doll quilt, right?

Mary Van Kleeck said...

I'm from Madison, WI and a Frank Lloyd Wright fan. Back in the day my Dad was a railroad depot agent in Spring Green, WI. Wright use to come in to the depot all dressed up in his cape and hat to pick up things that had been shipped to him. My Dad would have to make him pay and he would say "Do you know who I am". He was well known for not paying his bills. I have not been to this house but I have seen many others.

Susan said...

The only Frank Lloyd Wright house I have seen is Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, which is fabulous. Thank you for give a virtual tour of this one!

Yvonne said...

What an amazing place to visit!

Ada Kopitopoulou said...

A great architect! Lovely tour. I only know his work, didn't know what kind of man he was.

Kathleen Tracy said...

Martine - so glad you were able to come and visit all the way from Belgium and see some of our local treasures! Oak Park is a wonderful place.

Kathleen Tracy said...

Mary - after reading a little about Wright and his personality, I am not surprised by his attitude toward your father. Still, pretty cool to have known someone who met him personally. I'd love to visit Taliesin in Spring Green - someday.

Susan McQuade said...

Kathy...thank you for sharing the Wright pics. DH and I have this on our to do list. Bless you!

moosecraft said...

Wow! What an experience! I love the thickness of the walls... the built-in furniture, the glass.. and what a gorgeous child's bed! I do hope to get to Chicago one day... my hubby was out there on business and told me so many wonderful things about his trip... including the steaks and jazz clubs! :-) Yep... one day! :-)

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures. I read this book too and was not a great fan of Wright "as a man". But his houses are fabulous.

Anonymous said...

That blue grate would make a wonderful mini quilt design. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Cissne


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