Better Late Than Never / by Michelle Linden

During my first year at IIT, we all had to take an introduction to architecture class. This class took us to different architectural sites throughout the city, expanding our horizons and developing our sketching skills. The only problem was that the class was scheduled for Friday mornings, which we all know is a terrible time for a class. I managed to attend most of the classes, but there were a few key days that I missed. One of these days was the scheduled visit to the Robie house. [The sketch I turned in was copied from a book, which unfortunately showed an angle no longer able to be seen and was quickly caught by my professor!] Even thought I lived only a few miles from the Robie house for 5 years, I never managed to get myself down to Hyde Park to check it out. Missing the Robie house and the Farnsworth house were two of my big regrets when I left Chicago. But this trip, while visiting a friend who works in Hyde Park, I literally stumbled across the Robie house and decided to take a tour.

The tour itself was a bit of a disappointment, but I'm still glad that I went. I'd visited several of FLW's homes before, so I wasn't as amazed as I might have been otherwise. Plus, having already studied FLW, and the Robie house in particular, I didn't really learn anything new from the tour. And most disappointing, the house is undergoing a complete restoration, so much of the house was in shambles and there was very little furniture on site. Still... if you haven't been, I'd absolutely recommend a visit to this icon of Prairie Architecture.