"A Cultural and Educational Trip to Oak Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Oak Park by deecat

Oak Park Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 148 photos

Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemmingway

"Make the wall of brick that the fire touched to tawny gold or ruddy tan, the choicest of all earth's hues. They willl...recognize the surface of the ground on which they stand, gently spreading there to a substantial base that makes the building seem to stand more firmly in its socket in the earth and carry with a profile of grace the protection of its sheltering eaves." Frank Lloyd Wright, 1902

Oak Park, Illinois is located about eight or nine miles west of the Loop in Chicago. A man named Joseph Kettlestrings purchased 173 acres of timber/prairie just east of the Des Plaines River in 1835. He was the first white settler in Oak Park. This area slowly grew into the village of Oak Ridge [now Oak Park, the northwestern portion since 1872].

After the Chicago fire in 1871, many people moved to the village because they could still build frame houses here [which was forbidden in the city of Chicago].

At the turn of the century, the famous Lake Street "L" was extended to Harlem Avenue which then linked Oak Park to Chicago because it was a much faster way to reach the city.

The two most famous people who were born in Oak Park were Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright.

Today, Oak Park attracts people from all over the world who come to see both of these men's homes/studio and Museum. We were just two of those many people who came to be better educated and to absorb the culture of this diverse and lovely village.

A Fun Object Connected to deecat!

I just happed to see this Sewer Cover and my travel buddy, Mickey, and I were walking down the street in Oak Park, Illinois. Since my name is DEE, I smiled widely when I saw that DEE was permanently embedded on this ordinary Sewer Cover. Awe, yes, deecat is represented in the lovely village of Oak Park. [grin]

It's the Small Details That Add to The Beauty

Mickey and I were impressed with the architecture, the restaurants, the shopping, the parks, the memorials, and the sites we discovered in the village of Oak Park, Illinois. However, it was the small details that stand out. For instance, the beautiful lights throughout the streets [the ones in the photograph are just one example]. Another item that impressed us were all the beautiful, huge trees throughout the village. Probably most import to our delightful stay in Oak Park were the friendly and helpful locals.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Culture, Architecture, Restaurants, Trees, History
  • Cons:Parking and Pedestrian Street Crossing
  • In a nutshell:Oak Park is very close to Chicago and provides great historic architecture, outstanding restaurants, beautiful neighborhoods, and friendly people
  • Last visit to Oak Park: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (21)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Dee, fabulous page about Oak Park here. I must admit that I have never heard about this place before, but I agree that they have lovely sewer covers.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2011 at 5:27 AM

    The Carleton of Oak Park hotel sounds delightful. I hope I can get the chance to explore a Frank Lloyd Wright homes someday. At least I was able to experience it virtually..awesome! The gardens look and sound marvelous. Great photo's and page Dee!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Me again, coming back after three years for another look at your Oak Park page. I especially like your descriptions of the Hemingway homes and museum. It's great that Oak Park provides a free transportation service via The Oak Park Shuttle.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    Interesting travel page with so many interesting attractions. Home & Studio, Ernest Hemingway and Scoville Park certainly attract us the most. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    wow! This is somewhere that I want to visit. Your love of architecture shines through your vivid descriptions. Two great men from this town and what a contribution they made.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2009 at 12:27 PM

    Having visited Hemingway's home in Key West I was fascinated to read all you have to tell us about his birthplace and museum, but it is Frank Lloyd Wright who even more would draw me here! I loved your detailed descriptions of all his houses :-)

  • Dec 4, 2009 at 8:03 AM

    Some place that I would love to visit. FLW is an architectural god, and I love Hemingway so this has it all plus good places to eat [especially the ice cream!]

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    I lived right near downtown back in 1973, and long ago relatives were politically influential to grow the area late 1800's. It was a good city but went south for the warm weather, and married Ga peach. Your detail words on the famous ones is great.

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    May 1, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    I had hardly heard of this town before I read your page, except perhaps as Hemingway's birthplace. Very informative and interesting tips and so well illustrated! Loved the gingko tree. I also try to have a taste of the local ice-cream wherever I go.:)

  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    Looks like Oak Park is just "Wright" for a visit. That Amish Blue Cheese encrusted tenderloin has me salivating.


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