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By Devin Rose
Organizers of the 39th annual Frank Lloyd Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk say the eight home selections announced last week are both historically preserved and adapted for modern livability.
"This year, we're seeing a lot of houses where people have taken the old and incorporated the new," said Laura Dodd, director of guest experiences and program operations for the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.
The organization sponsors the fundraiser every year, making sure to showcase at least three homes designed by Wright and others designed by his contemporaries. Docents on the full-day tour discuss each home's architecture, history and the lifestyle of the original occupants.
Dodd said a committee of Oak Parkers divide up the village's neighborhoods and keep track of who's buying, selling and living in each home that can potentially be featured on the walk. They chose an area near Cheney Mansion to pick from for the May 18 tour.
The homes designed by Wright will be the 1892 Robert P. Parker house, the 1896 Harry Goodrich house and the 1913 Harry S. Adams house. The Parker house was designed while Wright was still employed by Louis Sullivan and had just started designing his own houses, said Andrea Brown, a spokeswoman for the Preservation Trust. She said it doesn't have the geometric, elongated lines of a mature Prairie-style house because Wright was just starting out. The Adams house was the last commission Wright completed in Oak Park and shows a more mature Prairie style.
The other houses are the 1885 T.S. Rattle house, the 1906 W.A. Rogers house, the 1906 Frank Keefer house, the 1914 Flori Blondeel house and the 1929 Frank Long house, according to a statement from the Trust. Dodd said the Long house is unique because of its wavy roof.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the tour — $100 each and $85 for members of the Trust — visit gowright.org. Included is admission to three landmark Wright buildings, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, and Unity Temple in Oak Park and the Robie House in Chicago. Visit the website for details about a May 17 excursion as well as the Ultimate Plus Package.