Tuesday, June 05, 2007

touring robie house and the university area

Today Su and I took a tour of Frank L. Wright's famous architectural masterpiece, Robie House, followed by a self-guided audio tour of the historical area around it. Robie House is in the shadow of the University of Chicago campus located only about 1 block away from it. So, it's a very familiar landmark. I have walked by it many times on my way to campus or to Pick Hall (where my department is located) or the Oriental Institute but this was my first time inside the historic architectural home. It's a very interesting, peculiar building. It's the culmination of Wright's Prairie-style architecture and according to the tour guide, it's one of his three most famous works. The Guggenheim Museum is one of them. Despite it being an architectural gem, I wonder how practical of home it is to live in.

The University of Chicago had been founded only about 10 years prior to the building of Robie House. In the self-guided audio tour, we visited some of the other notable architectural buildings in the area many of which belong to the University, such as Rockefeller Chapel, Ida Noyes Hall, the Oriental Institute, and the Graduate School of Business.

At the beginning, it felt a bit weird wearing a headphones listening to an audio tour of a neighborhood with which I'm pretty familiar. I wasn't a tourist, of course, but I felt like one at times. But I really enjoyed learning more about the history and architecture of a neighborhood, which has a diverse and interesting past.

Below are some photos taken during our tour today:


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