Need more Wright? Make it a road trip

Frank Lloyd Wright Trail features 13 sites statewide

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By Lacey Sikora

Contributing Reporter

Last year, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust welcomed more than 150,000 visitors to five Frank Lloyd Wright-designed sites: the Wright Home and Studio and Unity Temple in Oak Park, and the Rookery Building, Frederick C. Robie House and the Emil Bach House in Chicago. 

On May 8, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, along with the Illinois Department of Tourism, announced an initiative sure to grow the number of Wright tourists in Illinois, where Wright lived and worked during the first 20 years of his career. 

The new Frank Lloyd Wright Trail Illinois features 13 Wright-designed buildings throughout the state open for self-guided tours.

State Sen. Don Harmon, an Oak Park native, helped introduce the legislation designating the trail.

"Growing up in Oak Park, I may have taken Frank Lloyd Wright for granted, with a masterpiece around every corner," Harmon said. "With Wright's architectural genius clearly recognized around the world, though, we have an opportunity and responsibility to share him more generously."

Illinois Department of Tourism Director Cory Jobe noted that the bill was introduced last year in what was the 150th anniversary of Wright's birth, and passed this year, during Illinois' bicentennial year. 

According to Jobe, signs will be rolling out this summer to mark the stops along the trail. Suggested itineraries and stories related to the stops are available at www.enjoyillinois.com/FLW.

Trail stops include the Emil Bach House, Charnley-Persky House Museum, Frederick C. Robie House and the Rookery in Chicago; Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Unity Temple in Oak Park; Colonel George Fabyan Villa in Geneva; Muirhead Farmhouse in Hamphsire; Petit Memorial Chapel in Belvidere; Kenneth Laurent House in Rockford; B. Harley Bradley House in Kankakee; Frank L. Smith Bank in Dwight and the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield.

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