The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust’s five sites in the Chicago area form the international gateway to Wright’s Chicago.
The iconic architect’s first home and studio in Oak Park is a pilgrimage site for Wright fans, said Christina Ruscitti, director of tour operations and guest experiences at Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.
“The studio was a laboratory where he could experiment with designs,” she said. “The Prairie style, inspired by the broad, flat landscape of the Midwest, began in that studio. The Prairie style is considered the first truly American style of architecture.”
Unity Temple, Wright’s greatest public building of his Prairie era, and the Robie House also are located in Oak Park and open for tours.
“The Robie House is the quintessential Prairie style house,” Ruscitti said. “We have an interior restoration going on, so visitors can see the work in progress.” Completion is anticipated in early 2019.
Wright designed many private homes in Oak Park. While the homes cannot be toured (except on special occasions), walking or windshield tours allow groups to see the evolution of his style, Ruscitti said.
The trust also offers guided tours of Wright’s The Rookery Light Court in downtown Chicago and the Emil Bach House in the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago.
Trained volunteers conduct the tours. They possess a passion for Wright and architecture and are eager to share their knowledge, Ruscitti said.
“We are able to customize an experience for a group,” she said. “We can cater the experience to what the group is looking for.”
Tours range from one site to a half-day or a multi-day stay. The trust can help operators arrange box lunches.
“Chicago is where Wright got his start,” Ruscitti said. “He did amazing things in architecture.”
For more information on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust call 312-994-4041 or visit flwright.org.