I am firmly opposed to the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust proposal to destroy significant parts of Anna’s house at 931 Chicago and demolish or move the Italianate house at 925 Chicago. I grew up in a home in our historic district and now live across the street from the Hemingway Birthplace Home. I appreciate the diversity of styles in Oak Park, from the Italianate to Prairie School to Art Deco and beyond. I admire some contemporary buildings, such as our main public library and the new District House.
I object to the Trust’s proposal because the buildings in question are an integral part of the historic neighborhood that existed when Frank Lloyd Wright designed his home. They formed the framework for Wright’s development as an architect in Oak Park. When Wright spoke about the restriction of living in houses that were “boxes” of small rooms, he was speaking about these two houses.
Instead of the proposed actions, why not use the buildings to further the tale of Wright’s architectural journey? Restore Anna’s house to the same period as the Home & Studio and remove the later rear addition at 925 Chicago. These two changes will provide ample space for a well-designed visitor center for the Home & Studio and provide a background narrative for visitors who are eager to learn about the experience of Wright and his family.
Save these houses!