In Chicago, the 2019 Wright Plus Housewalk

General / People / Places / March 20, 2019

For the Frank Lloyd Wright aficionado, it’s a bonanza:

Four of the master’s Oak Park homes will be open to the public for one day only on Saturday, May 18. They’ll be joined by four more neighboring homes designed by Wright’s contemporaries.

The Wright Plus Housewalk is sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, a group that serves as stewards of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, the Robie House and the Rookery in Chicago. The trust has been conducting the tours for 40 years now.

“Years ago, volunteers thinking about greater exposure created this walk, and it’s been going on ever since,” says Angela Whitaker, Wright Plus coordinator at the trust. “The largest concentration of Wright buildings is in Oak Park, so there is a rich variety to choose from.”

Wright-designed buildings on the walk include the William G. Fricke House (1901), a study in architectural geometry with distinctive wood banding and leaded glass windows; the William E. Martin House (1903), a stunning Prairie composition featuring original murals and a water garden; and the Francis J. Woolley House (1893), an example of his pre-Prairie style work, on the walk for the first time.

Also making their Wright Plus debut are the John S. Van Bergen-designed George L. Smith House (1914) featuring original art glass windows throughout; the Ernest P. Waud House (1914), an open plan Tallmadge & Watson design with Prairie style furniture; and the Ashley B. Smith House (ca. 1925), a charming French Eclectic style home designed by Wright’s contemporary Robert E. Seyfarth.

The walk also features two lavish Prairie-style homes, the Barrett C. Andrews House (Tallmadge & Watson, 1906), a blend of Prairie style and Arts & Crafts details, and the George D. Webb House (Henry K. Holsman, 1910), a grand country home featuring elegant woodwork and original light fixtures.

“With the ticket purchase, you’ll get the one-day-only tour and a tour of the Robie House and the Rookery and the home/studio on another day,” Whitaker says.

That’s a great deal for visitors. But the entire event – the biggest of the year for the trust – is a bonus, since proceeds fund its education and support efforts.

For more, go here.

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Michael Welton




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