Hit the mother lode in Oak Park
Tour Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio
OAK PARK (AP) – Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, but Frank Lloyd Wright lives here.
Wright died in 1959, two years before Hemingway, but the famous architect's legacy is so strong in this village west of Chicago that he seems to be part of the present. Home to more than two dozen Wright structures, including a church, two stables and a fountain, Oak Park boasts the largest collection of Wright-designed sites in the world. Wright lived in Oak Park for the first 20 years of his career, between 1889 and 1909, developing Prairie style architecture in a studio there. In contrast, Hemingway couldn't wait to leave, reportedly disparaging it as a place of "wide lawns and narrow minds." (The future novelist left at age 18 to become a reporter for the Kansas City Star.)
Some 80,000 people tour Wright's Oak Park home and studio each year (and about 10,000 visit the Hemingway sites) but visitors can also get a sense of Wright's impact just by strolling up and down the streets. In addition to the homes he built, his designs are incorporated into everything from windows to mailboxes to lamps at scores of houses the architect had nothing to do with. This village of 52,000 is a living testament to his influence.
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