The Legacy of A Legend: Exploring Chicago’s Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings

Words by Matthew Vanatta

Lead Image – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust/James Caulfield

Every city has a heartbeat, a rhythm, beauty, and despair the wonderful mashing of cultures and stories. In every city, there is a uniqueness but also a collective oneness, a city that is magnificent is complex and nuanced it is a beautiful entanglement of art, love, passion design, and structure. Every city is dependent on its form and when it comes to Chicago there is no greater master of form then the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wright’s significance isn’t just important to the city itself, it stretches beyond the city and off into the plains and then even further to the coasts and touching all points north and south because Wright wasn’t just important for Chicago he was important for the world. From the Guggenheim to Taliesin West, his design legacy is so fundamental to modern architecture that it would be hard to argue against Wright’s place as North America’s most important architect.

Wright’s Bach House. Image – Frank Lloyd Wright Trust/James Caulfield

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in the small town of Richland Center, Wisconsin, just two years after the end of the civil war. Wright would eventually make the 234-mile journey to Chicago where he developed his timeless and modern style and built many of his most notable structures. Wright’s minimalist yet bold architecture is still considered the very best of modern Americana.

Chicago is home to many of Wright’s most noticeable structures, and while Chicago has grown into a modern metropolis, it is the perfect setting for Wright’s work. While the prolific architect might be best known for blending modern form into expansive natural landscapes in what he called Organic Architecture, Chicago allowed Wright to express himself in a more urban setting. For any creative or culture enthusiasts looking to fully embrace the impact of Wright’s work visiting his buildings in Chicago is a must.

For the ultimate Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago experience follow this guide and enjoy the wonderful workings of a modern master. For fully immersive experience take a guided tour with our friends at The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio-

Image -Frank Lloyd Wright Trust/James Caulfield

Take a guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park. FLW’s home studio is where he developed what was dubbed Prairie Style which blends modern homes with the rolling expansiveness of the prairies.

Unity Temple-

One of Wright’s most prominent works and the only remaining public building from his Prairie period, Unity Temple is a testament to Wright’s theory of organic architecture.

Frederick C. Robie House-

Image -Frank Lloyd Wright Trust/James Caulfield

One of Wright’s meditations on modern architecture, the Frederick C. Robie House was built as a private residence and is truly significant in the development of Wright’s iconic style.

Bach House-

The Bach House is an intimately scaled representation of Wright’s most significant work. The minimalist lines of both the interior and exterior are the essence of timelessness and would inspire the Mid-Century Modern movement.

Oak Park-

Oak Park monument to the man whose work has continually inspired architects from around the world. The largest collection of Wright’s work Oak Park features 21 buildings designed by North America’s most important architect.

The Rookery-

Wright remodeled The Rookery central light court and it is a true display of mastery. The Rookery is one of Wright’s most powerful interiors.

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