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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Historic Preservation Tuesday: Next year's Great American Housewalk featuring Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Oak Park, Illinois

(This is a reprint of the press release.)

Tickets on sale now for the Great American Housewalk
Wright Plus 2016 highlights Wright’s studio architects

Tickets are now available for Wright Plus 2016, the Great American Housewalk featuring private homes and public buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the architects who worked in his studio.

The annual architectural housewalk takes place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 2016 in Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois.

The focus for the 2016 walk is Wright and his Studio. In addition to Wright-designed buildings, Wright Plus events will showcase the works of William E. Drummond, John S. Van Bergen and Barry Byrne, all prominent architects who worked in Wright’s Oak Park studio (pictured at left).

The popular Wright Plus Friday Excursion will focus on Wright collaborator, artist Alfonso Iannelli.

Thomas Gale House.

Two private residences designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are confirmed for Wright Plus 2016, including the Harry S. Adams House (1913), a classic Prairie-style residence, and the Thomas Gale House (1892), an early Wright bootleg house never before featured on Wright Plus.

Also on the Wright Plus tour is the place where Wright’s innovative Prairie homes were conceived and his studio architects worked: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio. Wright Plus tickets include entry to Wright’s Prairie-style masterpiece, the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Bonuses for Wright Plus 2016 ticket-holders include:

· The River Forest United Methodist Church, which Drummond designed in 1912, open on Saturday during the housewalk.
· Byrne’s St. Thomas the Apostle Church (1922) in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, open 1-5 p.m. Sunday, May 22, 2016.

Additional private homes on the Wright Plus Great American Housewalk will be announced.

Tickets are $110 each and $95 for members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Transportation between Oak Park and River Forest is included in the ticket.

The following events are also on tap for Wright Plus:

The Ultimate Plus Weekend Package, May 19-22, 2016 is an extended weekend of one-of-a-kind architectural experiences, including six exclusive events and preferred admission to each site on the May 21 Housewalk, hotel accommodations and transportation. A highlight of the weekend is the Exclusively Wright Dinner on the evening of the Housewalk, when guests enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by an acclaimed chef in a privately owned Frank Lloyd Wright home. This year’s Ultimate Plus package will include a Friday, May 20, 2016 day trip to Racine, Wis. to tour Wright’s S.C. Johnson Administration Building (1936) and Research Tower (1944), plus the privately owned Thomas P. Hardy House (1915). For more information, visit

Limited spots are available on the popular Friday Excursion, Modern Renaissance Man: Alfonso Iannelli in Park Ridge on Friday, May 20, a separate Wright Plus event open to all. This day trip to Park Ridge, Ill., will cover the work of Alfonso Iannelli (1888-1965), who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright on his Midway Gardens project. Iannelli was a prolific and versatile designer whose work reflects the evolution of contemporary design over the first half the 20th century. The tour includes the Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, the Pickwick Theater (1928) and Cedar Court Cottages (c.1923). For more information, visit

Proceeds from the Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk support the restoration, preservation and education programs of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is a Chicago-based not-for-profit organization that provides public tours and educational programs at major Wright-designed structures, including his Home and Studio (1889/1898), in Oak Park, Ill.; The Rookery Light Court (1905) in the Chicago Loop; Unity Temple (1905-08) in Oak Park; the Frederick C. Robie House (1908-10) in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood; and Emil Bach House (1915) in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.



At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Dianne said...

Good to hear. To me, heritage preservation is an essential part of any city that values itself. We have a long way to go compared to so many other cities around the world: our heritage legislation is pretty weak and the range of tools available to help achieve meaningful heritage preservation is pretty thin.

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ironic that so many people see FLW's buildings as worth preserving while he himself was vehemently against most historic architecture and hated cities with a passion. Oak Park is perhaps his best work- but even so- it does not stand out as great as other architects of this time period. FLW was nowhere near as well trained or as artistic as Julia Morgan who for some reason never gets any air time, FLW was a big time blowhard.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

who designed great buildings that are worth seeing.

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greene and Green in California did beautiful arts and crafts buildings inspired by Japanese structures but with far better features than anything Wright ever did- and tall people can actually stand up in them- and the roofs do not leak either. William Van Alen was perhaps this country's greatest mid century architect but he gets little notice. He did lots more than just the Chrysler building in NYC

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

... been to the Gamble House. It's awesome.

The thing with architects is that most of them think they are better physical planners than they are. Or that they do good buildings.

FLW did interesting buildings. There were many problems with them but they were interesting. Of course, as a person and as a "planner" he was bad news in terms of cities and women.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FLW's contemporary, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, has always been much more appealing to me.

Have been to his Murchie Tea Rooms (still a working business in Glasgow), the Glasgow School of Art (also a still-functioning and renowned art school)and Hill House in Helensburgh overlooking the Firth of Clyde. It has been a house museum for decades and blows FLW's housing attempts out of the water.

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my problem with FLW is the cult of worshippers that has grown up around him that basically tries to stymie any serious look into what he has done and proclaims him as sort of god you cannot possibly critique. This undue- and underserved- attention also blots out other far more deserving builders who did not have as big of a mouth for self promotion as did FLW. His associations with Levitt and Robert Moses should be brought up more often to sort of leaven this abject icon worship. There are far too many apologists for the behavior of this creepy figure- and he is not the only one. Johnson also got a pass - he was a hard core fascist and follower of Adolf back in the day and yet still was allowed into mixed company. The hypocrisy of the MOMA people and the art history curators and tastemakers is beyond comprehension when they allow idiots like these guys into their pantheon of heroes. Again- other people should be celebrated. It is sort of like proclaiming that Picasso was the only artist in the 20th century and Rodin was the only sculptor in the 19th century. This is what some art tastemakers will have us actually believe.


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