Frank Lloyd Wright's Chicago Designs
You don’t have to be familiar with the styles of architecture, like Queen Anne or Prairie, to be familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright. You don’t even have to be particularly fond of architecture to pick Wright’s name out of a crowd. Though Wright died in 1959, he remains one of the most famous architects in the United States.
Wright embarked on each design with the goal of reimagining how people live. From apartment buildings to factories to single-family homes, Wright pushed the envelope for what a living space could be. 22 of his 532 completed structures are in Chicago’s Oak Park neighborhood alone, though he made his mark across the Chicagoland area.
After moving to Chicago in 1887, Wright build his own home, which already reflected his unique approach to architecture. With that home in his back pocket, Wright continued to design on commission while working for a local firm. He left the firm in 1893, which is when his illustrious career truly began. His first project culminated in the elegant William H. Winslow House.
Experience Chicago by way of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most popular designs. A tour of his homes will take you through the tree-lined Oak Park neighborhood and even into downtown. See the city while immersing yourself in one of the most iconic pieces of its architectural history.
Home and Studio
The historic home was not only designed by Wright, but it also served as his home and studio in 1909. Tours are available.
Completed in 1894, this Wright-designed home marks the first major commission of his career.
Harry S. Adams House
Wright's Prairie-style design comes to life in the Harry S. Adams House. It is now a private residence and not open for tours.
Walter Gale House
Constructed in 1893 in the Queen Anne style, the Walter Gale House was Wright's first design after leaving his firm.
William Fricke House
Though this home is privately owned, they do open for a special Frank Lloyd Wright house walk once a year.
Rollin Furbeck House
Located in Oak Park, this home is part of the Frank Lloyd Wirght-Prairie School of Architecture Historic District.
This home reflects Wright's signature style, with windows as the main feature. Wright completed this house in 1903.
EZ Polish Factory
This is the only factory building Wright designed. Built in 1905, it now serves as a community space for bands and artists.
Completed in 1895, this apartment building is five adjoining buildings. It was designed as low-cost housing. Only four of the five suites still stand.
Robert Roloson Row
Robert Roloson hired Wright to reimagine these four row houses in 1894. Wright's design allowed light and air flow in interior rooms throughout the units.
Wright dreamed up this building for his uncle. Though it's not always included in Wright's list of works, his son says it was his first, designed in 1888.
George Blossom House
Constructed in 1892, the George Blossom House is one of Wright's "bootleg houses," designed with historical styles with details that became indicative of Wright.
Though adding these homes to your Chicagoland itinerary is a sure fire way to see the city, keep in mind that some of these homes are still private residences. That means that while you can drive by to take in Wright's signature designs, not all homes offer in-depth tours. Respect those who call Wright's properties home while still learning about the architect and his unique design ethos.
“The mission of an architect is to help people understand how to make life more beautiful, the world a better one for living in, and to give reason, rhyme, and meaning to life.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright, 1957