If you read the most recent post, you know: I’m on a mission to knock items off my Chicago bucket list.
One activity I’ve been excited to cross off my list is the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park. I’ve been particularly itching to visit since reading the historical fiction Loving Frank, which chronicles the life of Wright’s mistress Mamah Cheney. My coworker and pal Liz also read the book, so we made a pact to spend the afternoon in Oak Park.
I hadn’t been to Oak Park in awhile, so I’d forgotten how quaint and adorable the suburb is. Its downtown is filled with specialty shops, cute restaurants and brick streets. The village’s center has a pristine, 1950s quality to it, and you get the sense that it has only experienced subtle modern changes over the years. The houses that line the serene streets are a beautiful melange of Victorian and prairie styles. And Oak Park’s close proximity to the city makes it even more attractive. Even though I’m not ready to fashion a suburban girl, I certainly don’t hate the idea of living there one day.
12:20pm was the time listed on our tickets to the tour of Wright’s Home and Studio. Liz and I rode the Green Line for the 45-minute trip west, and I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the continuous transformation of the landscape. We arrived with enough to time to grab coffee before our tour. As we waited for the tour to begin, I discovered that I’d failed to bring my camera. Of course. Since interior photography wasn’t permitted anyway, iPhone was happy to take on the task. Let us be your unofficial tour guide.
We learned that FLW’s Home and Studio was not built in his signature prairie style, but in shingle style. The thing that struck me about each room is that, as the mediocre tour guide noted, function and form were one in the same. It was evident that Wright thought long and hard about how each room would be used and then designed it accordingly. Now back to the exterior.
After the tour, we hit up the gift shop and then made our way out. Feeling cultured and educated on the ways of prairie-style architecture, we ventured down Forest Avenue and gawked over the several FLW houses that flank the historic street.
Liz and I capped off a perfectly lovely afternoon with a visit to her twin sister Megan’s apartment to see her gorgeous wedding dress, followed by a stop to the Marion Street Cheese Market.
Architecture + Good company + French triple cream. Capriole goat cheese. Delicious Garnacha.