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The Arthur Heurtly House is one of 25 Wright-designed buildings you can find in Oak Park, Illinois.
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Take a walking tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Oak Park

There’s no better place to observe the architect’s evolution

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The Arthur Heurtly House is one of 25 Wright-designed buildings you can find in Oak Park, Illinois.
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Before Frank Lloyd Wright became an internationally-recognized name in the world of design, the architect spent many years in Oak Park, Illinois, designing homes for Chicago-area residents. Wright got his start working for the famed Sullivan & Adler firm from 1888 to 1893, and it was under the tutelage of Louis Sullivan specifically that Wright began to explore the elements that would later define the Prairie School movement. For the rest of the 1890s and the first decade of the twentieth century, Wright continued to live and work in Oak Park and designed dozens of structures here.

There are several ways to experience the Frank Lloyd Wright/Prairie School of Architecture Historic District. You can buy a ticket for the annual Wright Plus housewalk, which provides rare glimpses inside some of the historic homes. Scheduled for May 16, this year’s event features will showcase Wright’s Isabel Roberts House, J. Kibben Ingalls House, and Oscar B. Balch House as well as other homes designed by Wright’s colleagues and contemporaries.

But for fans looking for a free self-guided tour of the district, we’ve mapped 25 buildings in Oak Park that were designed or remodeled by the iconic American architect. The points are listed by direction, starting from the north and heading south.

This story was originally published on April 29, 2015 but has been updated with the latest information.

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Harry S. Adams House

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We start the tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's work in Oak Park with the last home that Wright designed for the suburb. Built in 1913, the home displays many of the Prairie characteristics of Wright's work.

The exterior of the Harry S. Adams house. The facade is red brick. The house is surrounded by trees. Wikimedia Commons

William E. Martin House

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Built between 1902 and 1903, the William E. Martin House is a fairy tall structure compared to the usual squat one- to two-story Prairie style homes with flat rooflines that Wright is well known for designing. Back in 2010, the house hit the market and spent three years bouncing on and off the MLS before it sold in September 2013 for $1.075 million.

A large white house with multiple floors. Wikimedia Commons

Oscar B. Balch House

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Like many of Wright's homes, the Oscar B. Balch House is architecturally significant for being a design completed at the height of Wright's exploration of the Prairie School movement. However, this home is also important for being Wright's first commission after returning to Oak Park after abandoning his family and escaping to Europe with his mistress, Mamah Cheney. The home was built in 1911.

The exterior of a large white house. Wikimedia Commons

William G. Fricke House

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Built between 1901 and 1902, the Fricke House is notable for being one of Wright's early "true" Prairie style homes. The home, which features a tall, lean, and strikingly modern appearance, was designed by Wright during a short-lived partnership with the architect Webster Tomlinson.

Harry C. Goodrich House

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Built in 1896, the Goodrich House is one of the older Wright homes in the area. It certainly predates Wright's full-fledged dive into Prairie style, but it does feature hints at the emerging style. For instance, if the steeply-pitched roof were not a part of the design and the window band was flattened, the house would be a strong example of Wright's brand of Prairie School.

The exterior of a large brown house. OarkPark.com

Edward H. Cheney House

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Constructed in 1901 for Mamah Borthwick and Edwin H. Cheney, the low-slung house initially appears to be a single-story brick bungalow-style residence, but the brick wall surrounding the property conceals the above-ground basement level. The commission was also Wright's introduction to Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who he would later participate in a romantic affair with.

The exterior of a red brick house. Wikimedia Commons

Rollin Furbeck House

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Not to be confused with the George Furbeck House also in Oak Park, the Rollin Furbeck House is a proud and stately Prairie Schooler. The tall home represents a departure to Wright's typical modest, low-hanging rooflines and represents a more grand scale of Praire style.

The exterior of a brown brick house. Wikimedia Commons

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

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Perhaps the most famous Wright-designed home in Oak Park is Frank Lloyd Wright's personal home and studio on Chicago Avenue. Wright built the home in 1889 with a loan he secured through his employer and legendary Chicago School architect Louis Sullivan. Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust manages and maintains the property. The group also provides daily guided tours through the house. A plan to add a new John Ronan-designed visitor center to the home and studio site was unveiled in spring 2019. The Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission voted to reject the addition later that summer.

Robert P. Parker House

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The Parker House is one of Wright's infamous "bootleg" homes—commissions that Wright took under the table during his employment with Sullivan & Adler. Wright built a few bootleg homes in Oak Park, but Louis Sullivan eventually caught wind and ultimately dismissed Wright from his firm. The house sold in July of 2014 for $750,000, but returned to the market in May 2017 seeking $840,000. It found a buyer in late 2019 for a lower sum of $685,000.

Thomas H. Gale House

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Another bootleg home, the Thomas Gale House is representative of Wright's earlier work. Aesthetically, the house's design is very similar to the nearby Robert P. Parker House. Both homes exhibit more Victorian influences—such as steeply pitched roofs and angular turrets—when compared to the designer’s later style.

The exterior of a green house with a brown roof. Wikimedia Commons

Walter H. Gale House

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While the Walter Gale House shares some aesthetic similarities to Wright's bootleg homes, the house is actually a legitimate commission—it was Wright's first independent commission after being fired by Louis Sullivan in 1893. The house stands immediately next door to the Thomas H. Gale House.

Francis J. Woolley House

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Similar to Wright's other bootleg homes, this Queen Anne built in 1893 is very representative of Wright's early work. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and Wright's teacher Joseph Silsbee, the home is more representative of its era and not necessarily of Wright's personality or the Prairie style that Wright would later make famous. The house listed in September 2014 for $1.2 million and sold just five days later.

Nathan G. Moore House

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The Nathan Moore House is a little bit of an oddball in terms of Frank Lloyd Wright houses. It was originally designed and built in 1895 in the Tudor Revival style, at the request of the homeowner. Never a personal favorite of Wright's, a fire in the early 1920s allowed the architect to add some Prairie School elements during the home's renovation.

William H. Copeland House

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If this house doesn't look like a Frank Lloyd Wright home it's because it was originally built in the 1870s—long before Wright made his mark on Oak Park. However, the home was extensively remodeled by Wright in 1909. The property is currently on the market seeking $1.17 million.

A large house surrounded by trees. Steven Hattan of Perfect View 3D

Arthur B. Heurtley House

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The Arthur B. Heurtley House is not just one of Wright's most important works in Oak Park, but it's generally recognized as one of the greatest designs in Wright's career. Constructed in 1902, the house is an early example of Wright's flair for Prairie elements, although the house isn't exactly modest with its arched entryway and large massing. The Heurtley House is considered an essential evolution of Wright's Prairie School brand.

Edward R. Hills House

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By 1906, Wright had fully matured as an architect and his brand of Prairie School was well defined. Originally built in 1874, the house was relocated and almost entirely remodeled by Wright in his signature Prairie School style.

Harrison P. Young House

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The Young House is another home that was built in the 1870s but later remodeled by Wright in the 1890s. Though originally built in the Tudor Revival style, Wright added a wide outdoor porch and fireplaces to the living room and master bedrooms. The house was also pushed back 16 feet from its original location on the property.

A large white house with a grey roof Wikimedia Commons

Charles E. Roberts House

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This home was originally designed and built by the iconic Chicago firm Burnham & Root in 1879. In 1896, Wright was hired to remodel the interior of the house. Charles Roberts would later tap Wright for other assignments.

A large house with a brown and tan exterior. James Caulfield, courtesy FLW Trust

Charles E. Roberts Stable House

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Similar to Charles Roberts' main house, this old barn and stable was remodeled in 1896. The barn was later transformed into a residence by former Wright associate Charles E. White, Jr.

Laura Gale House

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Designed and built in 1909, the house not only exemplifies Wright’s brand of Prairie style, but it’s actually an evolution that would ultimately lead Wright to design his iconic and world-famous Fallingwater in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Laura Gale House is Wright’s first residence to feature a prominent cantilevered design.

Peter A. Beachy House

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Originally a small Gothic-style cottage, this home was extensively remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1906. The interior of the house was almost entirely rehabbed and Wright designed custom furniture to accompany its refreshed look.

George W. Furbeck House

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The George Furbeck House is quite compact and toped with pointed turrets. Considered a transitional work, the house was designated an Oak Park landmark in 2002. The Furbeck House had bounced on and off the market for several years before finally selling for $650,000 in March 2014.

Frank W. Thomas House

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No, this isn't the Big Hurt's house, this Prairie Schooler was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901. Considered one of Wright's first true Prairie School designs, the house has distinct horizontal planes and an arched entryway—an element that it shares with the nearby Heurtley House.

Unity Temple

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The Unity Temple in Oak Park is without a doubt one of Wright's most famous works anywhere. Completed in 1908, the stout stone building with its stoic exterior was strikingly modern-looking when it was built. However, the interior features a true Prairie School design which emphasizes natural lighting and geometry. The building, which underwent a thorough renovation in 2017, is considered by some to be Wright's most important project from the first decade of the 20th century. In 2019, Unity Temple was among eight notable Wright buildings to be honored as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The exterior of a building which is a temple. The facade is brown brick. Nick Fochtman

George W. Smith House

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This home reflects a transitional period for Wright, as it blends both Queen Anne and Prairie elements together. The house was originally commissioned by Charles E. Roberts, but was eventually purchased by and named after George W. Smith, a Marshall Field & Company salesman. The house was designed by Wright in 1895 but completed in 1898.

The exterior of a house with a brown facade and multiple roofs. Wikimedia Commons

Harry S. Adams House

The exterior of the Harry S. Adams house. The facade is red brick. The house is surrounded by trees. Wikimedia Commons

We start the tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's work in Oak Park with the last home that Wright designed for the suburb. Built in 1913, the home displays many of the Prairie characteristics of Wright's work.

The exterior of the Harry S. Adams house. The facade is red brick. The house is surrounded by trees. Wikimedia Commons

William E. Martin House

A large white house with multiple floors. Wikimedia Commons

Built between 1902 and 1903, the William E. Martin House is a fairy tall structure compared to the usual squat one- to two-story Prairie style homes with flat rooflines that Wright is well known for designing. Back in 2010, the house hit the market and spent three years bouncing on and off the MLS before it sold in September 2013 for $1.075 million.

A large white house with multiple floors. Wikimedia Commons

Oscar B. Balch House

The exterior of a large white house. Wikimedia Commons

Like many of Wright's homes, the Oscar B. Balch House is architecturally significant for being a design completed at the height of Wright's exploration of the Prairie School movement. However, this home is also important for being Wright's first commission after returning to Oak Park after abandoning his family and escaping to Europe with his mistress, Mamah Cheney. The home was built in 1911.

The exterior of a large white house. Wikimedia Commons

William G. Fricke House

Built between 1901 and 1902, the Fricke House is notable for being one of Wright's early "true" Prairie style homes. The home, which features a tall, lean, and strikingly modern appearance, was designed by Wright during a short-lived partnership with the architect Webster Tomlinson.

Harry C. Goodrich House

The exterior of a large brown house. OarkPark.com

Built in 1896, the Goodrich House is one of the older Wright homes in the area. It certainly predates Wright's full-fledged dive into Prairie style, but it does feature hints at the emerging style. For instance, if the steeply-pitched roof were not a part of the design and the window band was flattened, the house would be a strong example of Wright's brand of Prairie School.

The exterior of a large brown house. OarkPark.com

Edward H. Cheney House

The exterior of a red brick house. Wikimedia Commons

Constructed in 1901 for Mamah Borthwick and Edwin H. Cheney, the low-slung house initially appears to be a single-story brick bungalow-style residence, but the brick wall surrounding the property conceals the above-ground basement level. The commission was also Wright's introduction to Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who he would later participate in a romantic affair with.

The exterior of a red brick house. Wikimedia Commons

Rollin Furbeck House

The exterior of a brown brick house. Wikimedia Commons

Not to be confused with the George Furbeck House also in Oak Park, the Rollin Furbeck House is a proud and stately Prairie Schooler. The tall home represents a departure to Wright's typical modest, low-hanging rooflines and represents a more grand scale of Praire style.

The exterior of a brown brick house. Wikimedia Commons

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

Perhaps the most famous Wright-designed home in Oak Park is Frank Lloyd Wright's personal home and studio on Chicago Avenue. Wright built the home in 1889 with a loan he secured through his employer and legendary Chicago School architect Louis Sullivan. Today, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust manages and maintains the property. The group also provides daily guided tours through the house. A plan to add a new John Ronan-designed visitor center to the home and studio site was unveiled in spring 2019. The Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission voted to reject the addition later that summer.

Robert P. Parker House

The Parker House is one of Wright's infamous "bootleg" homes—commissions that Wright took under the table during his employment with Sullivan & Adler. Wright built a few bootleg homes in Oak Park, but Louis Sullivan eventually caught wind and ultimately dismissed Wright from his firm. The house sold in July of 2014 for $750,000, but returned to the market in May 2017 seeking $840,000. It found a buyer in late 2019 for a lower sum of $685,000.

Thomas H. Gale House

The exterior of a green house with a brown roof. Wikimedia Commons

Another bootleg home, the Thomas Gale House is representative of Wright's earlier work. Aesthetically, the house's design is very similar to the nearby Robert P. Parker House. Both homes exhibit more Victorian influences—such as steeply pitched roofs and angular turrets—when compared to the designer’s later style.

The exterior of a green house with a brown roof. Wikimedia Commons

Walter H. Gale House

While the Walter Gale House shares some aesthetic similarities to Wright's bootleg homes, the house is actually a legitimate commission—it was Wright's first independent commission after being fired by Louis Sullivan in 1893. The house stands immediately next door to the Thomas H. Gale House.

Francis J. Woolley House

Similar to Wright's other bootleg homes, this Queen Anne built in 1893 is very representative of Wright's early work. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and Wright's teacher Joseph Silsbee, the home is more representative of its era and not necessarily of Wright's personality or the Prairie style that Wright would later make famous. The house listed in September 2014 for $1.2 million and sold just five days later.

Nathan G. Moore House

The Nathan Moore House is a little bit of an oddball in terms of Frank Lloyd Wright houses. It was originally designed and built in 1895 in the Tudor Revival style, at the request of the homeowner. Never a personal favorite of Wright's, a fire in the early 1920s allowed the architect to add some Prairie School elements during the home's renovation.

William H. Copeland House

A large house surrounded by trees. Steven Hattan of Perfect View 3D

If this house doesn't look like a Frank Lloyd Wright home it's because it was originally built in the 1870s—long before Wright made his mark on Oak Park. However, the home was extensively remodeled by Wright in 1909. The property is currently on the market seeking $1.17 million.

A large house surrounded by trees. Steven Hattan of Perfect View 3D

Arthur B. Heurtley House

The Arthur B. Heurtley House is not just one of Wright's most important works in Oak Park, but it's generally recognized as one of the greatest designs in Wright's career. Constructed in 1902, the house is an early example of Wright's flair for Prairie elements, although the house isn't exactly modest with its arched entryway and large massing. The Heurtley House is considered an essential evolution of Wright's Prairie School brand.

Edward R. Hills House

By 1906, Wright had fully matured as an architect and his brand of Prairie School was well defined. Originally built in 1874, the house was relocated and almost entirely remodeled by Wright in his signature Prairie School style.

Harrison P. Young House