Wright Plus Tour - Isabell Roberts House

Photo by Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois. Used under Creative Commons 2.0

This year’s Wright Plus 2020 house walk will be held on Saturday , May 16th, 2020.  The Tour will feature three Wright designed houses.  The tour includes eight private residences and two additional buildings. You’ll be sure to have a full day with so many buildings to see.

Tickets can be purchased from the rFank Lloyd Wright Trust. Check out their 2020 Wright Plus Housewalk web-page for more details.

Be sure to arrive early.  At times the lines can be long. Therefore, you’ll want to give yourself the full day to see all of the exhibits and buildings. I suggest parking at the parking garage just north of the intersection of Lake Street and Harlem Ave next to the Trader Joe’s.  From there you can take a shuttle to your first tour stop, or you can enjoy a morning stroll and pass a few Wright homes on the way. If you’re going on foot,  stroll down Forest Avenue between Lake Street and Chicago Avenue.  This will lead you directly to Wright’s studio and you’ll pass several of Wright’s most famous buildings including the Arthur Huertly House and the Nathan G. Moore House.

2020 Wright Plus Featured Homes

This year’s showcase includes two solidly prairie school homes in the Ingalls House and the Balch House.  The third house on the tour, was renovated by Wright in 1922. The 1922 renovation of the Isabell Roberts house features traits of both his prairie style as well as his future fascination with the his Usonian style.

Isabell Roberts House

Isabell Roberts was a secretary for Wright.  Additionally, Roberts designed leaded art glass windows for Wright’s studio. After working for Wright, Roberts went on to work in Ida Annah Ryan.  Ryan was  the first female graduate from the MIT school of architecture. Ryan opened up her own architecture firm in Florida.

If you’d like to read about what it was like to live in the Roberts house, check out this interview with Bill Pollak.

J. Kibben Ingalls House

Build in 1909, the J. Kibben Ingalls hosue in River Forest has many of the class traits of a Wright prairie style home.  The central fireplace and massive chimney ground the house.  Overhanging cantilevered eaves on both the first floor porch and second floor balconies are classic elements that give the home a horizontal  feel.

The IIngalls home was on the market as recently as 2017, and images on the interior are still available if you’d like to get a preview of the home before your visit.

Other Wright Events In the Area

if you are in the area for the weekend for the Wright Plus Walking Tour there are several other  events you may want to check out. Here are a few of my favorites.

The La Grange Area historical society will be hosting it’s own Wright walking tour in the Village of La Grange on May 17th at 1:30 pm.  The tour starts with a short lecture on 4 local Wright designed homes and concludes with walk past the homes.   On the tour you’ll visit the Irving Clark House, the Robert Emmond House, the Peter Goan House and the Stephen M. B. Hunt House.

Be sure to check out the Frederick C. Robie house. The home is open from Thursday to Monday from 9:30 am to 3:15 pm.  Be sure to book tickets in advance as tours do tend to fill up.