Chicago History

Frank Lloyd Wright and More

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Wright Home
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park. GTJ Photo.

This is a day trip you will not want to miss.  As you make your pilgrimage to Oak Park, I suggest that you also make stops in two Chicago neighborhoods:  to a Mexican restaurant in Pilsen and to the Garfield Park Conservatory.
The elements of a visit to Oak Park to see the work of Frank Lloyd Wright are simple, but this will take the better part of the day.  Begin at Unity Temple, take a tour of his Home and Studio and walk around the neighborhood looking for homes designed by Wright.  This link to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust should give you the tools you need to plan your day.

Unity Temple
Ceiling at Unity Temple. GTJ Photo.

Peter A. Beachy House
Peter A. Beachy House, Oak Park. GTJ Photo.

Suggestions for seeing some of Chicago during a day trip to Oak Park. 
Along the way, why not get a glimpse of two other communities - Pilsen and Garfield Park?  Neither will involve a lengthy detour.
Nuevo León, at  1515 W. 18th Street, is one of the best restaurants in the Pilsen neighborhoods of Chicago.  "Pilsen" got its name from the Czech immigrants who used to live here, and the name survives today for the largely Mexican community of today.  You might stop there on the way to Oak Park.
On the way back, stop at the Garfield Park Conservatory.  It is located at 300 North Central Park Avenue.  This is a stunning series of greenhouses and exhibition spaces.  Nearby is the "Golden Dome" of the Garfield Park fieldhouse.  During Mayor Byrne's administration, I brought a civil rights case against the Chicago Park District representing community groups, most notably from Garfield Park, who believed that they were being cheated regarding park facilities, programs and personnel.  The disrepair of the Golden Dome was Exhibit A.  Later, when Harold Washington became Mayor of Chicago, we were retained to assist the Park District work on redressing the balance.  Take a look at the Golden Dome when you visit the Conservatory.

Skeleton of Garfield Park Conservatory laid bare during renovation. GTJ photo.

Mexican Fine Arts Museum
National Museum of Mexican Art. GTJ Photo.

Later on, be sure to come back to Pilsen when you have more time and visit the National Museum of Mexican Art, which uses the arts to tell the story of Mexico and Mexicans in Chicago and the Midwest.