Our friends Jeff and Mark from North Carolina were in town for a visit over the weekend. While Earl worked the Cubs game, we took the opportunity to drive out to Oak Park to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio. He left the complex in 1909.
I’ve always been a fan of Wright’s architecture and I wasn’t disappointed with the visit to the Home and Studio in Oak Park. While this particular group of buildings was not in his well known “Prairie Style”, the design of his home and studio were definitely his work. Moving from room to room, one is “compressed” into a small space along the hallway and then “decompressed” for a grand entrance into the next room. His office was three stacked octagons, and the work studio has chain used to suspend the roof and ceiling out in plain view, instead of hidden in walls like you’d find elsewhere.
The Preservation Trust has done a magnificent job in bringing the site back to its 1909 glory. When the Trust took over the property in 1976 it had been an apartment building and a dormitory, among other things. One stairwell is still in its 1976 condition and it’s evidence of what good willed people can do when they put their mind to it.
I’ve never understood this American trend of ripping down beautiful downtown areas in the interest of “Urban Renewal”, and I will never understand how someone can take a gorgeous, historic, and obviously unique building and carve it up into a bunch of apartments.
The visit was a pleasant one; I look forward to taking Earl out there to experience it as well before the snow flies.