Monday, May 30, 2016

Frank Lloyd Wright street walk

There are a few FLW designed houses in Forest Avenue. We hired an audio guide each and strolled down the avenue.

Most of the FLW houses are on the east side of Forest Avenue and there are a couple on the west side. The southern most house is near Ontario Street. Here is a link to the FLW Trust's website with more about the tour.

Not all the houses are by FLW. This is the house next door to FLW's house.

Other 'normal' houses across the road.

Another 'normal' house.

Still 'normal'.

But there is no mistaking a FLW house. This is the Arthur B. Heurtley home. It was constructed in 1902 and is one of the earliest 'prairie style' houses.

Central chimney.

It's worth clicking on the link to read about the house.

It looks like a normal house and it is but the Charles A Purcell house is a lovely example of what typically was being built in the area.

Another 'normal' but interesting house. It must have been a challenge for other architects to have FLW designing houses in the same area.

The winding entrance to Elizabeth Court.

The Laura Gale House from 1909.

It is one of FLW's smaller houses in the Prairie style.

The typical FLW hidden entrance.

Drain pipes to deal with the flat roof.

Notice the drain spout at the bottom right.

The gardens were all lush.

This house dates from 1887 and the architect is unknown but it is known as the Paul Blatchford house.

There was a pre-existing house and FLW remodeled it in 1906.

The actual front of the house faces south away from the avenue. It sits on the largest lot on the avenue.

Planters. These would have been quite unusual at the time.

The Frank Thomas house from 1901. This is the first of the 'Prairie Style' houses that sat on a slab with no basement.

More about the house here.

We had reached the southern end of the avenue at the Austin Gardens.

Inside the gardens.

On the gate to the gardens.

We thought it might rain so we did not linger and headed back north on the western side of the avenue.

A rather large abode. 

The Hills-Decaro house. It is a 1906 remodeling by FLW.

Unusually in this avenue, there is a fence.

FLW really liked stained glass.

I seem to remember from the audio tour that this was brought from a World Fair in Japan. I could be wrong.

Next door is the Nathan G Moore house. This house also has a fence. It is worth reading the link to see the history of the house. 

Personally I don't like it too much at all.

Marianne what these blocks were in the distance and I still don't know.

Part of the original Tudor style.

The northern side of the house.

Notice the windows with the stained glass accents.

Not all FLW's houses were a success but there are so many that are quite astounding. If we had been in Chicago a week earlier we could have possibly gone on an extra tour where some of the FLW houses were open to the public.

It really would be a lovely street to live in except for all the tourists walking past.

It was quite warm and very humid. This looked very appropriate for lunch.

Marianne had black walnut and cinnamon. She thought it was very good.

I had a milkshake that was very good.

The counter.

We enjoyed our time in Oak Park. It looks like it would be a very pleasant place to live.

Many of you know that we are Airedale Terrier lovers and we were invited to visit two of them and their owners later in the afternoon.

To get to the house, the GPS took us along a road under the L Train. It reminded me of the Blues Brothers. Needless to say I did not reach the 118 mph that the Bluesmobile apparently attained.  It's a bit un-nerving driving so close to the concrete and steel pillars.

Leaving the dogs behind we went out for dinner and I had a delicious pork stew with beans. It was quite spicy.

Marianne's smoked salmon, onion and cheese on flat-bread was less successful.

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