Hey Readers. TGIF! Today’s Fantasy is one of the most famous homes in the country ( in the fields of Architecture, Architectural History and Historic Preservation), so I thought it might be a change of pace to share a relatively well-known house with you. Let’s take a look at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House.
The Robie House is the quintessential example of the Prairie Style, and probably the best representative of the style that Frank Lloyd Wright created in the early 1900s. The Prairie Style is characterized by an open, spacious interior layout, long horizontal lines like the landscape of the prairie, low pitched hipped roofs and long banks of windows. The goal of a Prairie building (like any FLW building) is to add to its natural setting rather than dominating it, with an emphasis on craftsmanship.
Built between 1908 and 1910, the Robie house was built for Frederick C. Robie, the 28-year-old Manager of an excelsior supply company. Shortly after Robie and his family moved in, they had to sell the house due to financial trouble. The house was sold and re-sold several times in the following years, but Wright furnishings stayed with the house when it was sold, fortunately. Eventually, the Chicago Theological Seminary bought the house with plans to expand their campus. It narrowly escaped demolition twice at the hands of the Seminary, the final time in 1957, when several vocal advocates for the home, including Wright himself who was 90 years old by then, turned out to protest the demolition. The building was ultimately purchased by a friend of Wright in 1958, who donated it to the University of Chicago. The University eventually turned over operation of the Robie House to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust (FLWPT). The FLWPT undertook a massive restoration that costs over 10 million dollars to bring the home back to its original understated grace and beauty. They continue to give tours of the house and grounds weekly, Thursday-Monday.
Now for some pictures of the Robie House. (Pictures from Wikipedia)
I hope you enjoyed your architectural history lesson for the day. Have a great weekend.