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Visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright House and Gift Shop in Oak Park

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When visiting big city Chicago, it’s fun to get out of the city and get a totally different experience far from the skyscrapers. A quick hop on the L train will take you to the storybook suburb of Oak Park, a mecca for architecture lovers and fans of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois. Unesco

Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois.

You don’t have to be an architecture expert to appreciate the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, known for his association with the prairie school movement of architecture. But while you may know of Wright from Guggenheim and Falling Water, you may not realize the highest concentration of Wright works in the world are in a suburban  Chicago in Oak Park.

Oak Park is home to dozens of Wright homes, including his own studio and home where he spent his earlier formative years (recently designated an official Unesco site). You can do a walking tour of the Wright Oak Park homes and actually visit his studio where the magic happens. 

Visiting Oak Park

I love visiting Oak Park. It’s a quintessential suburb with tree lined streets, but still has plenty to do with a vibrant downtown. Sandwiched among the dozens of Wright structures in Oak Park, you’ll find old timey ice cream shops and cute cafes, along with the same Chicago deep dish pizza you’ll find in the city. 

For me, Oak Park is home to my brother and his family, so over the years I’ve spent lots of time here exploring the area. On my last visit, I figured it was time to write about Frank Lloyd Wright’s Oak Park, in particular the excellent gift shop on site where you can pick up Wright inspired designs.

While you can’t visit the interior of most of the homes Wright designed, it is pleasant to walk by and check them out from the street. For a full list of the homes and walking tour, check this link.

Frank Lloyd Wright home Oak Park, Illinois. ranch photo

A Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oak Park, Illinois.

Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, recently designated a Unesco site. Frank Lloyd Wright

Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois, recently designated a Unesco site.

Visiting the Frank Llyod Wright Home and Studio

When viewing the grand structures created by well known architects, I sometimes wonder what sort of thought they put into their own dwellings. Amazingly, you can discover just that when you visit the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio.  The home and studio are located on Chicago Avenue in Oak Park, with many of his designs on the nearby streets.

Home and studio hours are 10-4 daily, and you can’t visit without a guided tour (offered throughout the day). You can book your tour in advance on their website.

Shopping for Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Designs at the Gift Shop

If you love Wright’s design aesthetic, you will love the well thought out gift shop here.

Here are some of the more interesting picks:

Frank Lloyd Wright lamp designs at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright lamp designs at the studio gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired pillow designs at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired pillow designs.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired wine rack designs at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

An artsy wine rack.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired stained glass decal designs at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

Yes you can actually buy stained glass decals.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired floor lamp designs at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

Loved this snaking lamp.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired floor welcome mat at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

If Frank Lloyd Wright designs don’t work with your interior decor, there is always a welcome mat.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired vase at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

Vases don’t usually turn my head but I loved this one.

Frank Lloyd Wright design books at gift shop in Oak Park, Illinois #chicago #architecture

As you might expect, the book section of the gift shop was well stocked with gorgeous coffee table books on Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

Have you visited any of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings? Tell us about your favorites!

 

 

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