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The Robie House, one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous homes, is on its way to complete restoration after a $2 million gift from Illinois FIRST, a public-works fund administered by the State of Illinois. The gift brings the total amount raised for restoration to $4.2 million, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, which is coordinating the ten-year, $7 million effort.

The Robie House has anchored the corner of 58th and Woodlawn since 1909, when it was built for bicycle manufacturer Frederick C. Robie and his wife, Lora Hieronymus, Ph.D. 1900. Known for its wide, flowing spaces and a band of 174 art-glass windows designed to take advantage of the sun's path, the Prairie School home was considered ultramodern for its time.

Barely escaping a demolition planned by the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1957, it was named "House of the Century" by House & Home magazine that year. In 1963 the house, by then a federal landmark, was given to the University of Chicago, where it was used as student housing, for office space, and at one point as the home of the Alumni Association.

Since 1999 Robie House has been under restoration by the Preservation Trust, which also conducts daily tours for visitors. Work to be done this year includes repairing the roof, tuckpointing the exterior, installing new heating and air systems, and replacing worn bricks.-C.S.


 


 APRIL 2001

  > > Volume 93, Number 4


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