The Robie House, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood south of downtown, is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece and a testament to evolving technology in turn-of-the-century America. It was built in 1910, a crowning culmination of Wright’s Prairie style houses. It also went though a recent restoration and it looks stunning.
Being amidst the University of Chicago campus both hurt and ultimately saved the building over the years. The single family house was converted to student housing at one point, then offices; the art glass front door was destroyed during a student demonstration in the 1960s. The house was threatened with demolition twice, once in 1941 and again in 1957. Wright, himself, fought to save the building both times. In 1963, the house was donated to the University of Chicago. In 1997, the University moved out of the building and let the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust step in to operate tours, raise funds, and restore the historic building. The University continues to own the building today.
Recent work included restoring art glass windows and recreating elements including light features, built-in cabinetry, carpets, the magnesite flooring on the first floor, and the plaster wall covering. The restoration even included recreating the art glass door, the effect of which is breathtaking.
Sources and Further Reading:
I previously wrote about the Robie House and its contemporary neighbor here.
Want to go on a tour? Learn more and make reservations here.
Interested in Frank Lloyd Wright? Check out some of these previous posts: