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The development of a great architect comes into focus at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois.

Trained interpreters offer insights into Wright’s family life and architectural career during an indoor/outdoor tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (1889–1909). 

Wright used his first home to experiment with design concepts that contain the seeds of his architectural philosophy. In his adjacent studio, Wright and his associates developed a new American architecture — the Prairie style.

Forest Avenue entrance, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1889/1898), Oak Park, Ill.
Credit: Courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Photographer: James Caulfield

Student groups explore the Historic District surrounding the Home and Studio with a guided walk. Oak Park is home to the world’s largest collection of Wright-designed buildings. The walking tour provides information as students view the exteriors of some of the private homes.

As of mid-September, the Home and Studio was only offering the combination indoor/outdoor tour to groups, in accordance with social distancing and reduced capacity limits. Normal tour capacity is expected to resume next spring.

Celeste Adams, president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, said students enjoy engaging with the spaces where Wright lived and worked for the first 20 years of his prolific career.

Students see light switches and telephones from the 1889–1909 time period on the tour. And they encounter innovative features firsthand in notable rooms, such as the barrel-vaulted playroom and the two-story drafting room.

Student tour, Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park, Ill.
Credit: Courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Adams said students also enjoy learning how Wright used geometry in creative and innovative ways. They witness the evolution of Wright’s architectural principles and the connection to modern architecture.

“We hope to inspire and educate our guests through the experience of Wright sites, preserved to his original design vision,” Adams said. “Wright designed over 150 projects in his Oak Park Studio, establishing his legacy as a great and visionary architect. The contemporary relevance of Wright’s design legacy and how he was ahead of his time as an architect continues to resonate with guests. During a visit we witness students respond emotionally to the spaces and get excited about architecture.”

The Home and Studio is open year-round, and the trust can work with each group to tailor its visit to the site.

For more on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust call 312-994-4041 or go to flwright.org.

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