Where Wright Lived and Worked
Begin your adventure visiting the landmark that shaped global architectural practices. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, nestled on a tree-lined street in the heart of Oak Park, is known as the birthplace of Prairie style architecture. See original blueprints in the immaculate laboratory and marvel at colorful stained glass in the adjacent living quarters before hitting the streets of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this fairytale neighborhood is home to 25 Wright-designed residences. Landmarks like the Nathan Moore House, Heurtley House, and Hills-Decaro House, illustrate Wright’s evolution from traditional homes to the flat-roofed structures he is known for today.
More Prairie Gems
No architectural odyssey would be complete without a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple. Arguably the boldest design of the 20th century, this National Historic Landmark is fresh off a long-awaited $25 million restoration — and after seeing the renewed grandeur of its ornate woodwork and skylights, it’s clear the project was worth the wait. Another distinguished example of Prairie Style architecture is just down the street, and is the only George W. Maher design currently open to the public; the Pleasant Home, an opulent 30-room mansion, boasts a softly lit porch and picturesque garden from the outside. Venture inside to see its elegant woodwork, decorative motifs and colorful tilework.
The nation’s leading example of Prairie style commercial architecture, Scoville Square, sits at the prominent corner of Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue. While it’s primarily a meeting and events space, visitors can pop into the impressive lobby to see the monumental oak staircase and marble wainscoting. The building also has a variety of merchants, like the casually elegant, American eatery Winberie’s Restaurant.