Robie House:

 I arrived in Lombard, IL (about 20 minutes west of Oak Park) Thursday night before my wife and friends arrived.  I got checked into the hotel and relaxed for the night.  After picking up everyone at the airport, we headed straight for the Robie House on the campus of the University of Chicago.  We knew we’d be busy with the Wright Plus tour on Saturday, so we wanted to see as much as we could on Friday.   

 For those not familiar with the Robie House, it is arguably one of the best examples of Wright’s Prairie Design homes.  It was built in 1908 and changed hands many times before it came into the loving care of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Society.  

It is heartbreaking to hear about the abuse that this masterpiece went through over the years.  It is amazing that it has held up so well.  The home is currently in year 3 of a 10-year renovation project.  Many elements of the home retain the original style that Wright designed.  The art glass windows are still mostly intact and they add tremendously to the beauty of the home.   

 Most of the original furnishings have been removed from the home.  Some of them will return when the renovation project is complete, but many of them are in private collections or the property of the University of Chicago’s Small Museum.  Replicas of the dining room furniture and most of the lighting sconces have been put into the home to add some of the original design work back to the rooms.   

 Even with the work that is being done and the furnishings that have been removed, the Robie House is a beautiful “Wright Space” to visit.  I’ve toured the home 4 times in the last 5 years and it is wonderful to see the progress that is being made on restoring this architectural gem.   

 

 

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