Oak Park Things to Do Tips by Dabs Top 5 Page for this destination
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Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was Wright's home and where he worked from 1889 to 1909, the 1st 20 years of his career. His studio was added in 1898, it was here that he developed the Prairie style of architecture and designed 125 structures, including the Robie House which can be found in Hyde Park, the Larkin Building which was in New York (demolished in 1950) and the Unity Temple which can be found in Oak Park.
The house is restored to look like it was in 1909, the last year he lived there. A hour long tour of his home and studio are given every day, you can see the schedule on the attached website. It's a separate tour from the guided walking tours, you can save $4 if you do both on the same day.
We passed on doing this, maybe next time.
Address: 951 W. Chicago Avenue, Oak Park
Edward McCready by Robert Spencer, 231 N. Euclid
In addition to all the Frank Lloyd Wright homes, there are many other homes in Oak Park that are sure to impress you. The map we bought at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio also had 183 notable works by 25 other architects, 45 of which were marked on the map in addition to the 35 designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The remainder are listed by architect and address.
Ernest Hemingway Museum
American author, Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park in 1899 in the house that stands at 339 N. Oak Park Avenue, a modest (by Oak Park standards) Queen Anne style home. You can visit the Hemingway Birthplace Home and the Ernest Hemingway Museum at 200 N. Oak Park Avenue, a combination ticket is $7 to visit both.
Hemingway lived in Oak Park from 1899-1917, the first 6 years or so at 339 N. Oak Park, then moved to 600 Kenilworth in Oak Park. His childhood home on Kenilworth is owned by the Ernest Hemingway Foundation but is not currently open to the public. You won't find this on the official Oak Park Hemingway website he once said that Oak Park was a town of "broad lawns and narrow minds." He returned to Oak Park briefly after WWI, lived in Chicago briefly during 1920 and 1921 and then left never to return to this area again. He committed suicide in 1961 at the age of 61.
Some of Hemingway's most famous works include The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, Farewell to Arms and one of my favorite books For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Address: 339 N. Oak Park, 200 N. Oak Park
Peter A. Beachy, 1906, 238 N. Forest
The reason why most people visit Oak Park is quite simply to see the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.
There are several ways to do a tour of the structures that he designed.
1) Buy a map at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio gift store (cost about $4) and do a self guided walking tour of the area, some of which is in neighboring River Forest. The map points out 35 of his designs and 183 designs by 25 other architects (only 45 of which have pictures and are marked on the map). The map does not give any in depth information on any of the structures.
2) On the weekends there are 1 hour guided tours given by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
3) The Chicago Architecture Foundation has guided tours on foot or by bus. Some of these tours leave from downtown, others require you to get to Oak Park on your own.
4) The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust has self guided audio tours for rent during the week
Address: 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park
Directions: By car, see the attached website under tours
Public transportation: green line el to Oak Park stop, walk north on Oak Park avenue to Chicago Avenue (about 6 blocks), turn left on Chicago Avenue, walk 4 blocks to 951 W. Chicago
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