Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago
Do Wright right on these Chicago architecture tours.
By: Alan Solomon
To enjoy all the Wright-related properties, take a tour through the Chicago Architecture Foundation or the Frank Lloyd Wright Tour group.
The Chicago area boasts 3 Frank Lloyd Wright sites that are essential stops for any Wright fan. All 3 are open to the public and all 3 are located near more Wright structures.
Today it's maintained by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, which offers tours and works tirelessly to restore it and keep the beautiful place from falling apart.
3. Wright Home & Studio
One, at 333 Forest, is an early 1895 design (adjusted later after a fire), which from the outside shows little of the architect's trademark elements and is, in fact, kind of a stylistic mess. But the others are pure FLW, notably the Heurtley House (1902) at 318 Forest, which with its sleek rooflines and earthen materials practically screams Prairie. Nine more Wright houses are on neighboring streets, making this a don't-miss tour for students of the man's work.
"They teach it in every art school and architecture school in the world," says volunteer greeter Brian Flora, whose sign-in sheet typically has more foreign signatures than American. "It broke the box."
From the outside, the church looks a bit like a multilevel concrete bunker, in stark contrast to the ornate, steepled churches of the time that still dot the neighborhood. But the inside is a wonder of elegant yet functional simplicity and is classic Frank Lloyd Wright: much use of unpainted wood, hanging light fixtures that combine geometric supports and unadorned globes, splendid natural light and, seen so often in Wright homes, a fireplace as a gathering spot.
It's still a working church, now Unitarian Universalist, and serves as a performance venue and community meeting place.
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