Following a multi-year, $25 million makeover, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple is ready to reopen to the public. Starting Saturday, July 1st, the Oak Park Unitarian Universalist Church will once again host guided architectural tours after a two year hiatus. Though originally expected to be completed last fall, the restoration overseen by Gunny Harboe Architects has certainly been well worth the wait.
From a structural standpoint, crews stabilized the concrete and ‘shotcrete’ exterior and waterproofed the 1908 building’s crumbling roof. Inside, layers of paint in both the sanctuary and the adjoining Unity House were carefully peeled back and then restored to their original colors through painstaking forensic analysis. Unity Temple’s woodwork, lighting fixtures, and art glass windows also received attention. Meanwhile, visiting the landmark in the middle of summer is more pleasant than ever thanks to the addition of an air-conditioning system.
Lasting between 45 and 60 minutes, guided tours are available 10 AM to 4 PM Monday through Thursday, 10 AM to 3 PM on Fridays, and 10 AM to 11 AM on Saturdays with admission running $18 for adults and $15 for students, seniors, and military personnel. Self-guided audio tours are also available for $10. For guests looking for a more in-depth experience, special tours providing access to otherwise off-limit spaces will be offered Saturday mornings starting on August 5th.
Unity Temple is located at 875 Lake Street in Oak Park, Illinois. The iconic structure is also a short walk from the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio—a must-visit site for any Wrightophile. For more information about touring the temple visit the website of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.
- Restoration done Wright: A look inside Unity Temple [Curbed Chicago]
- Unity Temple Guided Tours [Frank Lloyd Wright Trust]
- Previous Frank Lloyd Wright coverage [Curbed Chicago]