Wright Plus tour adds five rarely seen homes
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The 39th annual Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk, showcasing the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries, will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18 in Oak Park.
The all-day event will include rare interior tours of the following private homes:
•Robert P. Parker House (1892). An early Wright house sensitively restored for today's lifestyle.
•Louisa and Harry Goodrich House (1896). Highlights Wright's emerging aesthetic and the owner's period restorations.
•Harry S. Adams House (1913). Frank Lloyd Wright's final Oak Park commission, reflecting his mature Prairie style.
•T.S. Rattle House (George O. Garnsey, 1885). A grand Victorian with an expansive addition and gardens. It is new to Wright Plus.
•Dr. Charles E. Cessna House (E.E. Roberts, 1905). Grand rooms in original condition, complete with intact art glass and a magnificent open staircase trimmed in oak. It is also new to Wright Plus.
•W.A. Rogers House (H. G. Fiddelke, 1906). The stunning art glass and original woodwork in this spectacular Arts & Crafts residence is new to Wright Plus.
•Frank Keefer House (E.E. Roberts, 1906). Never before seen on Wright Plus, this exceptional Prairie home has been enhanced with a dynamic two-story expansion.
•Flori Blondeel House No. 2 (John S. Van Bergen, 1914). This home, which is also new to Wright Plus, sports a recent restoration with original woodwork and expansive two-story atrium addition.
•Frank Long House (Leon Stanhope, 1925). Features a unique interpretation of the cottage style with new gardens and a charming undulating roof.
Five of the nine houses have never before been presented in the history of the housewalk. At each house, docents will discuss its architecture, history and the lifestyles of the original occupants.
"Each year we feature at least three Wright homes, along with those designed by his contemporaries between the late 1800s and 1929," said Angela Whitaker, Wright Plus coordinator. "They showcase a variety of styles and give a good account of what was being built here during those years so that architecture lovers can compare and contrast other architects' work to Wright's work."
The Cheney Mansion Oasis patio and solarium will also provide respite along the tour route this year for the first time. Designed in 1913 by Charles E. White Jr., the Elizabeth F. Cheney Mansion evokes a gracious English country home.
It takes approximately 600 volunteers and staff members to run this massive annual event, which draws tour-goers from as far away as Australia and Japan, Whitaker said.
Tickets are $100 each and $85 for members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust and are still available but they usually sell out closer to the event.
Included is admission to three landmark Wright buildings, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Unity Temple in Oak Park, as well as the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago. Information and tickets to all Wright Plus events are available at GoWright.org.
Proceeds from Wright Plus, the Preservation Trust's main fundraiser, support the mission of the organization to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and to preserve the trust's historic sites and collections.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, which was known as the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation until 2000 when it took over operations at the Robie House, provides public tours and educational programs at three Wright-designed structures: his home and studio in Oak Park; the Robie House in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood; and The Rookery Light Court in the Chicago Loop. The Rookery was added to the trust's holdings in 2010.
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