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Robie House

Before 100 years, Frank Lloyd Wright sparked an architectural revolution with the opening of his Oak Park studio. The Robie House, built on the University of Chicago campus in 1910, is one of two museum sites maintained by The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.

Robie House

Through its preservation and restoration efforts and many programs, the not-for-profit Preservation Trust presents Wright's structures, as well as his architectural and artistic principles, to a worldwide audience. The Robie House features bold horizontal lines, daring cantilevers, stretches of art glass windows and an open floor plan -- the Robie House inspired an architectural revolution.

The House stands in stark contrast to the University's Collegiate Gothic structures and is unrivaled today in its architectural drama and adventure--unexpectedly changing with each angle of vision. Upon its completion, shocked neighbors likened the home's long, low design to a steamship, with its two rectangles, or vessels, abutting each other and visually separating the living areas from the utility spaces. The broad central chimney serves a unifying function, locking the pieces into place.

The Preservation Trust assumed management, restoration and interpretation of the structure, which was added to the National Trust's collection of 19 historic sites in January 1997,. The Preservation Trust has planned a ten-year timetable for the restoration of the Robie House, which will remain open to the public during all phases.

Among more than 75 buildings that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in the Chicago area, none is more famous or influential than this residence, which was designed for Frederick C. Robie, a young manufacturer of bicycles. The affinity of its striking horizontal lines to the flat landscape of the Midwestern prairie came to be associated with an architectural style popularly known as the "Prairie School." The building's low, overhanging roof and the long wall around its base give a sense of privacy to the occupants, while the roof's sweeping horizontality makes the house seem longer and lower than it actually is. This design, which was a marked contrast to traditional houses of the period, signaled a turning point in modern residential architecture.