- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Review
Wright designed and built his house when he was only 22, in 1889, on the strength of a $5,000 loan from his then-employer and mentor, seminal Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. A visit here provides a unique look into the architect's developing ideas over time as he continually remodeled the house. This is where Wright's nascent architectural philosophy first bloomed; he designed the house not only to hold his rapidly growing family but also to showcase his then-revolutionary notions. The home combines elements of the 19th-century Shingle style with subtle innovations that stamp its originality. Over the next 20 years Wright expanded his business as well as his modest cottage, establishing his own practice in 1894 and adding a studio to the house in 1898.
In 1909 Wright spread his innovative designs across the United States and abroad (at this time he also left his wife and six children for the wife of a client). He sold his home and studio in 1925; they were subsequently turned into apartments that eventually fell into disrepair. In 1974 a group of local citizens calling itself the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation, together with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, embarked on a 13-year restoration that returned the building to its 1909 appearance.
Wright's home, made of brick and dark shingles, is filled with natural wood furnishings and earth-tone spaces. The architect's determination to create an integrated environment prompted him to design the furniture as well—though his apparent lack of regard for comfort is often the subject of commentary by visitors. In the lead windows are colored-glass art designs, and several rooms have skylights or other indirect lighting. A spacious barrel-vault playroom on the second floor includes a hidden piano for the children's theatrical productions. The adjacent studio is made up of four spaces—an office, a large reception room, an octagonal library, and an octagonal drafting room that uses a chain harness system rather than traditional beams to support its balcony, roof, and walls.
Well-informed guides take small groups on tours throughout the day, discussing the architecture, pointing out artifacts from the family's life, and telling amusing stories of the rambunctious Wright clan. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more for the home and studio tours. Note that you need to arrive as early as possible to be assured a spot on one of these tours—not later than early afternoon to make the last tour on any given day. Tours begin at the Ginkgo Tree Bookshop, which is part of the home and studio. The shop carries architecture-related books and gifts. You can pick up a map of other examples of Wright's work that are within easy walking or driving distance or you can join a guided tour of the neighborhood led by volunteers.
- Address: 951 Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL | Map It
- Phone: 312/994-4000
- Cost: Museum admission $15; walking tour $15; combined $25. Tickets can be purchased in advance via the website.
- Hours: Tour times vary depending on the season
- Website: www.gowright.org
- Location: Chicago Outskirts
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $104* & up -- Flights for Next Weekend on American, R/T American Airlines
- $129 & up -- Chicago: 4-Star Michigan Avenue Hotel, 65% Off The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago
- $127 & up -- Weekends at 4-Star Chicago-Area Hotel, Save 65% The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
- $127 & up -- Weekends at 4-Star Chicago-Area Hotel, Save 65% — $127 The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
- $199 & up -- Chicago 4-Star Riverfront Hotel, Save 40% — $199 Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Thanks to all that provided suggestions for our weekend trip to Chicago!
DH and I went to Chicago because DS' high school band was performing at the Windy City Band Festival at Dominican University and Read more
Hi. Read more
We will both be 22 years old by the time we fly out and have recently completed university. We are coming over to the USA to experience the big cities, the bars, the beaches, the culture Read more
· News & Features
The James Beard award winners were just announced this week, so the race is on to try and get a table... Read more
From a hidden drum circle in Washington DC to awesome sushi in Chicago's Ukrainian neighborhood, we've... Read more
He may have never visited Chicago himself, but the Windy City played a huge role in Picasso's artistic... Read more