Last week I sang the praises for the interior tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio. If you are
cheap frugal like me, you will also take advantage of the walking tour that goes with it. There is a combo pricing option.
After Frank built his own home, he was hired multiple times to draw plans for many Oak Park neighbors. This tour will take you on a walk by some of these homes. You can spend as little or as much time as you want. The tour is guided by headphones and a "pause" button so gawking is encouraged. Stopping for lunch is also just fine, since you are in charge of your own headphones.
For non-walkers there are other options for getting around town. Rickshaw Rick's seems to be a popular option, but the day I went, it was soo beautiful that it would have been silly for me not to walk. Although, if I wasn't so
cheap frugal, I probably would have, because the weather is just as beautiful while riding...and I'm lazy. The convenient thing about the walking tour is that they provide a locker to store anything you don't want to carry to make your walk lighter as opposed to feeling like a pack mule.
After seeing and hearing about Frank's motivation in his own home, it was interesting to see those aspects in his hired work. The repeating columns outside his studio have combined these aspects by using storks representing fertility, a scroll representing knowledge, and the tree of life representing nature.
The narrator/guide joked that this sculpture in the photo below was the client in angst after they had to pay for their new home.
The homes are so unique and the walking narrative gives you reasons for the details. In the day of the "painted lady" style home, these neighbors were cutting edge. Can you imagine the talk around town? Tongues were wagging, I am sure. (What in the SamHell are they doing? Who do they think they are?)
There are 19 homes to view in an easy to follow area. I appreciated the 'care and share' that the homeowners give to their homes. (I kept wondering about how it must feel to have many strangers a day admiring their house from the sidewalk.)
Also on the tour was the exterior of the Unity Temple. If you would like an interior self-guided tour, there is a discounted price, just by showing your headphones...or you could always go to the worship service on a Sunday. (wink wink)
It was a very calm, quiet place to rest halfway through the tour. We had the choice to either sit here in peaceful reflection or...
go to Crumbs Cupcakes for a cupcake and an iced coffee, so we did both. (I'm not THAT cheap. There are always exceptions.)
After all that walking, you should have something to help you survive that exhausting ride home on the train! Oak Park has so much to offer, make sure to check back for more.