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Wright Plus

By Benjy Lipsman in Arts & Entertainment on May 20, 2008 3:15PM

While Chicago architecture is perhaps best known for its skyscrapers -- old and new -- the area has an equally rich tradition of residential architecture, too. And nobody is better known in that arena than Frank Lloyd Wright.

Once each year, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust expands beyond their stewardship of the Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park and Hyde Park's Robie House to give architecture fans a bigger taste of Oak Park architecture with their Wright Plus Tour.

This year's tour was held on May 17, and Chicagoist made the hike out to Oak Park for the event. The all-day self-guided tour included access to eleven different structures, including eight private homes designed by Wright as well as some of his peers and proteges, the Home and Studio, Robie House and Unity Temple.

Since the tour tickets allow entry into the three buildings regularly open for tours, we skipped those on Saturday to focus on the private homes open for just this event. Ranging from Italianate to arts and crafts to Wright's famous Prarie Style, the homes demonstrated both the artistry of turn of the century architecture, as well as home owners' abilities to respect that legacy while improving the homes to suit the needs of modern families.

At $90, tickets to the event are not cheap, but well worth the money for those of us who love architecture. Next year's event will be held on May 16, 2009 and tickets for it go on sale October 1.

Photo by Benjy Lipsman