This Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio tour review is long overdue. After living in Oak Park for over 20 years, I finally got around to taking the tour and I have much information to share.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation was founded in 1909. Its mission is to preserve and promote the works of the famous architect and manage several of the properties that he designed including Taliesin and Taliesin West.
Among his most famous designs in the Chicago area are The Robie House, The Rookery, Unity Temple, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.
There are many Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the United States that you can visit, of which several are located in Oak Park. Among the most popular is his home and workplace which operates as a museum today.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tours
There are three guided tours available that range from $15 to $30 per person.
Home and Studio Interior Tour
This is the most popular tour for Oak Park visitors. You’ll have guided views of the architect’s home and work studio. The duration of this tour is about 1 hour.
- When: Every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Oak Park, Illinois
- Visit: Tickets start at $20, Tickets
For the best chance of starting the tour at a desired time, purchase your tickets in advance. I walked in and purchased tickets at the counter and had to wait about 20 minutes for the next available tour.
Outdoor Historic Neighborhood Audio Tour
This tour may be the best for those who are challenged with mobility and want to see the famous architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. The duration is about 1 hour.
Interior Tour + Outdoor Historic Neighborhood Audio Tour
This is a tour of the home and studio’s interior. Afterward, you’ll use a hand-held device to take a self-guided audio tour and walk in the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District to learn about some famous homes and architecture in the neighborhood. The duration of this tour is about 2 hours.
The audio tours start at early at 9:30, so there is plenty of time to grab breakfast at one of the Oak Park restaurants nearby.
The Tour Review
What to Expect
While I waited for my tour to begin, I browsed the gift shop for unique items to gift. This is one of the best places to pick up souvenirs of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The tour is led by a local who is passionate about the heritage of Oak Park and the legacy of Frank. They spill bits of interesting information and give plenty of opportunity for personal photos.
On the home and studio tour, we visited the restored interior spaces, which feature Frank’s architectural style elements such as long horizontal lines, natural materials, and open floor plans. You can literally stand and one room and see 2 or 3 others.
Noteworthy spaces in the home include the main living area showcasing his philosophy of integrating interior and exterior space, and the children’s playroom decorated with Wright-designed furniture and art glass.
The drafting studio is where Frank developed innovative designs, like Unity Temple, the Robie House, and several Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the area. The ground floor was used by him and his students. There is also an upper balcony with stunning art glass and an octagonal ring that holds the roof in place.
- Frank Lloyd Wright practiced architecture for 72 years.
- The building was once reconfigured to house 7 apartments.
- Frank built his studio around nature; there are remnants of a tree growing through a wall.
- The entire family of eight shared one bathroom.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Parking
Only street parking is available, and it is easy to find nearby.
On Forest Avenue, 2-hour parking is available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is limited parking on Chicago Avenue which is close to the home and studio.
Things to Know Before You Go
Because the building is historic, it is not ADA-compliant. The home and studio have 19 steps ascending to the second floor for which half the tour takes place. The outdoor audio tour is the best option for wheelchair users.
The tours are in English. However, there are printed translations of information regarding the tour that you can request at the start of the tour.
Nearby restaurants like Cooper’s Hawk are just a 5-minute walk away to pause for a lunch break.
Photos are allowed in the interior structures, but videos are not. There are no free admissions, regardless of age, and children under 8 years of age are not permitted to enter.
Final Thoughts on the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour
I can’t believe it took me this long to visit this place. It was worth every dime and provided an intimate look into the personal life and career of Frank (he feels like an old friend, now).
The tour was incredibly inspiring and has me adding more Oak Park stops to my bucket list. If you are planning a visit to this charming town.
Need help planning your stay in Oak Park? Take the guesswork out of planning and use our 2-day Oak Park itinerary from a local to make the most of your stay. Oak Park hosts the most amazing outdoor events that you won’t want to miss.