Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Next May: 39th Annual Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk, Oak Park, Illinois

Robert P. Parker House, Oak Park, Illinois.  Photo from Virtual Tourist.

Coincidentally, this event is in May, during National Historic Preservation Month (and gives me something else to add to my list of things to do during Preservation Month). And a ticket to the tour would make a good holiday gift.

From the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust:

Combining authentic restoration with modern livability, the eight private homes featured on the 39th Annual Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk will showcase the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries in the historic district of Oak Park, Ill.

Wright Plus 2013, sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 2013.

The all-day event will feature rare interior tours of the following private homes, including four that have never been on the housewalk before:

• Harry S. Adams House (1913) – Frank Lloyd Wright’s final Oak Park commission, reflecting his mature Prairie style.
 Robert P. Parker House (1892) – an early Wright house sensitively restored for today’s lifestyle.
 Louisa and Harry Goodrich House (1896) – highlights Wright’s emerging aesthetic and the owner’s period restorations.
 T.S. Rattle House (George O. Gamsey, 1885) – a grand Victorian with an expansive addition and gardens. NEW to Wright Plus.
 W.A. Rogers House (Talmadge & Watson, 1906) – stunning art glass and original woodwork in this spectacular Arts & Crafts residence. NEW to Wright Plus.
 Frank Keefer House (E.E. Roberts, 1906) – exceptional Prairie design enhanced with a dynamic two-story expansion. NEW to Wright Plus.
 Flori Blondeel House No. 2 (John S. Van Bergen, 1914) – recent restoration with original woodwork and expansive two-story atrium addition. NEW to Wright Plus.
 Frank Long House (Leon Stanhope, 1929) – unique interpretation of the cottage style with new gardens and a charming undulating roof.

At each house, docents will discuss its architecture, history and the lifestyles of the original occupants.

Also new to the 2013 housewalk, the Cheney Mansion Oasis patio and solarium will provide respite throughout the day. Built in 1913 by Charles E. White, Jr., the Elizabeth F. Cheney Mansion evokes a gracious English country home.

Tickets are $100 each and $85 for members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Included is admission to three landmark Wright buildings, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Unity Temple in Oak Park, as well as the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago. For more information, visit

Two additional events are available to augment the Wright Plus experience.

The Friday Excursion, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday May 17, 2013 will include a private tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois. Be the first to see Wright’s only wheelchair accessible design before it opens to the public.

The excursion will include motorcoach transportation, lunch and a tour of the Anderson Japanese Gardens designed by Hoichi Kurisu and a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Pettit Memorial Chapel (1907) in a Belvedere, Ill. cemetery. The cost of the Friday Excursion is $165 and $150 for Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust members. For more information, visit

The Ultimate Plus Package, May 16-19, 2013 offers an extended weekend of one-of-a-kind architectural experiences, including preferred admission to each site on the May 18 housewalk, hotel accommodations and transportation.


The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust provides public tours and educational programs at three Wright-designed structures: his Home and Studio in Oak Park, Ill.; the Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood; and The Rookery lobby in the Chicago Loop.

Proceeds from the Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk support the mission of the organization to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and to preserve the Trust’s historic sites and collections.



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