A Homes Tour, Chicago, and ‘The Bean’ (Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie)

Sometimes it’s good to get away and see some fabulous homes. It may seem like coming back to work on my own place would be a downer, but I usually come home inspired, and with much needed objectivity. Last May, Sam and I went on what seems to me the ultimate Homes Tour:  the Wright Plus tour in Oak Park IL.  Prairie Style homes may not be categorized as minimalist by today’s standards, but you can bet they were when viewed from the Victorian side of history (um, doilies anyone?).

So, you’re wondering where “Selfie” comes into this? — here’s one from the same trip to Chicago, a reflection in Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate”, aka “The Bean” — yes, I like hiding behind a camera.

Selfie in the Bean, with Sam at Millenium Park in Chicago

Selfie in the Bean, with Sam at Millenium Park in Chicago

But back to Wright Plus Of course no photography was allowed in the homes’ interiors, but nobody said I couldn’t photograph the brochure:

Wright Plus Brochure

Wright Plus Brochure


Prairie Style, closely related to Arts & Crafts, Mission, and Craftsman style, shares their love of simplicity, good craftsmanship, honesty in the use of materials, and integration of design and nature. Don’t forget, it’s William Morris, leader of the British Arts & Crafts movement, we have to thank for “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

A few exterior shots:

The tour also included entry to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Hyde Park IL.

Robie House, Hyde Park IL May 2013

The Robie House: the upstairs rooms (being renovated, so usually closed) were open especially for Wright Plus tour members.

I may have made a mistake planning the Chicago trip for May 2013. If we’d waited for 2014, then instead of Frank Lloyd Wright and fellow architects, we’d have had all Frank Lloyd Wright houses on the tour. Here’s a link to All Wright – 2014.
Then again, it’s hard to get to all the homes in one day on a normal tour year. The Wright homes have bigger lines than the others —

Wright Plus tour line, Oak Park IL, May 2013

We’re in this line for our first tour of the day.

To see to all the open homes last year, we had to skip Unity Temple and the Wright Home and Studio (since those are open year round, we might get back someday). Note to tour planners: All Wright should really be a two-day extravaganza.

Here’s a link to others on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie.

Hmm, I wonder why they call it "The Bean"?

Hmm, I wonder why they call it “The Bean”?

Meanwhile, here at downsizer’s-central, I’ve not been idle. Progress comes slowly, but it comes.

And of course I’m looking forward to spring because — that brings more home tours!

Do you have a favorite home tour to recommend?

12 thoughts on “A Homes Tour, Chicago, and ‘The Bean’ (Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie)

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    • I will be looking for that Alabama house. In KC there was one up on the bluffs north of the river. It’s a relatively small home in a “regular” neighborhood where I used to watch for homes for sale. It has a copper roof so it’s easily distinguishable from the highway below — I used to look at it and wish when I drove to work in the mornings.

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  6. What a pleasure to run into this. My wife and I always plan a Wright tour (or 2) on each of our U.S. holidays. We love all of them, though Kentuck Knob was fabulous and Hanna House (U.of Stanford) are two that stand out. Oh – and The Martin House in Buffalo has been recently restored, though when we visited a few months before completion,so our timing was off.

    Here’s my take on Kentuck knob – http://throughtheluminarylens.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/organic-architecture-kentuck-knob/

    And Fallingwater – http://throughtheluminarylens.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/masterpiece-fallingwater-by-frank-lloyd-wright/ I’ll say no more.

    • I was through Buffalo with friends a couple of times while the house there was closed, being renovated. I’d love to go now that it’s open. Thanks for the reminder, and Fallingwater’s on my list too. And your photos are fabulous, thanks so much for posting the links.

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