The village of Oak Park, Illinois, was the place where Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most influential architects of his times and the leader of the style known as the prairie school, developed and perfected his prairie architectural style, emphasizing the use of open spaces and interior light in low buildings. Today, Oak Park houses the world's largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings and houses with twenty five structures, built between 1889 and 1913. Many of buildings in Oak Park are registered National Historic Landmarks and Frank Lloyd Wright house and studio are located here.
Frank Lloyd Wright house and studio, where he lived with his wife Catherine Lee Tobin and their six children, served the artist's laboratory for many architectural experiments for twenty years. Probably, an idyllic American suburb with giant oaks and sprawling lawns had inspired the architect to build about sixty houses in the area by 1900. The Nathan Moore House, 1895, is one of the best of this period. In this studio, Frank Lloyd and his associates designed hundred and twenty five structures, totally including such famous buildings as the Robie House, the larking Building and Unity Temple, all presented in Oak Park today.
Everyone, who has ever seen Frank Lloyd Wright house estimates that it is a rather extraordinary building, but as his contemporaries used to say "a workplace with the inspiration everywhere". Wright began the construction of this house in 1889, shortly after his marriage to Catherine Tobin, using five thousand dollars that he borrowed from Louis Sullivan. The building lasted for about nine years while Wright added more structures to the houses or changed details. Originally, the room at the front of the house on the second floor was Wright's drafting room until he finished the Studio Annex in 1898. In 1895, Frank Lloyd Wright added the two-story polygonal Bay on the south side of the house, the first floor of which began to serve as a comfortable dining room with a spectacular dining table and chairs, everything in his unique style. The same year he extended the east side of the house with a two-story structure with the second floor, meant to be a children's playground. As he experimented with interior light, the children's room received light from art glass windows along north and south walls and from the overhead skylight, creating an ethereal effect. The Studio Annex was of the Frank Lloyd Wright house was completed in 1898 and is one of the most magnificent workplaces to be ever found with a spacious reception area, octagonal designed hanging lights in the drafting room and a presentation library.
It is a world-recognized fact that Wright was well ahead of time in his architectural projects, emancipating future architects for more experiments in architecture and design. Today, Wright's house and studio are a historic house museum and a center for education on the works and ideas of the artist. It is fair to say that he achieved his aim to be "the greatest architect of all times". However, a brief review of Wright's house cannot capture the impressions, subduing your mind when you actually see and walk through it. One thousand visitors a year and fifty thousand virtual visitors acclaim that Wright's house and studio is a must see in Illinois. The other buildings in Oak Park complement to a full understanding of Wright's style and architectural ideas.
Would you like to learn more about old architecture and history of Illinois? Visit or accommodate in Harrison House B&B, an eighty five year-old building, located in historic Naperville. It gives its visitor an excellent chance to start a historic survey of the region straight from their hotel room, reflecting the elegance of the past.