Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is a Chicago-based not-for-profit organization that renews the vision of Frank Lloyd Wright through programs and educational initiatives about architecture, design and culture to perpetuate Wright’s all-inclusive artistic vision and belief in the integrity of the natural and built environment.
The Trust conducts ongoing historic preservation and operates public tours, programs and events at major Wright sites, including his Home and Studio (1889/1898) in Oak Park, a Chicago suburban community; The Rookery Light Court (1905-07) in downtown Chicago; Unity Temple (1905-08) in Oak Park; the Frederick C. Robie House (1908-10) in Chicago’s Hyde Park; and the Emil Bach House (1915) in Chicago’s Rogers Park.
The mission of the Trust is to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and to preserve the Trust's historic sites and collections.
The Trust was established in 1974 as the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, to acquire and preserve Wright's Home and Studio in Oak Park as the place where Wright formulated the architectural principles he retained throughout his career. In 1975, the Home and Studio became a co-stewardship property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Home and Studio Foundation embarked on its mission to restore and operate the building as a historic house museum.
In 1976, the Home and Studio was declared a National Historic Landmark. The ensuing $3+ million restoration was completed in 1987, at which time it received the American Institute of Architects' prestigious National Honor Award.
In February 1997, the Home and Studio Foundation, by invitation of University of Chicago entered into an agreement to assume sole responsibility for the management, operation and restoration of Wright's Robie House, located on the University of Chicago campus. In 2000, the Home and Studio Foundation changed its name to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust to better reflect the dual stewardship of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Wright’s Robie House.
In December 2010, the Trust realized a long-standing dream of a downtown location by opening central offices at The Rookery, a Chicago landmark building. The Rookery contains one of Wright's most dramatic interior compositions in its luminous central light court.
In May 2012, the Trust acquired sole ownership of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The transfer of ownership marked a new chapter in the history of the Trust.
In 2012, the Trust began operation of tours at the Emil Bach House, a Chicago landmark on Chicago’s north side shoreline neighborhood of Rogers Park, and in September 2013, the Trust assumed responsibility for the operation of tours and programs at Unity Temple, three blocks from Wright’s Home and Studio in Oak Park.
In December 2013, the organization's name became Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, while the mission remains unchanged.
The Trust Organization
Today the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust has 55 employees and 500 volunteers who serve an audience of 135,000 site visitors and 950,000 virtual visitors from around the world each year. Trust activities include tours, workshops, teacher training, student internships, school outreach, family activities, multi-media programs, a restoration resource center, library/archive, a membership program, a travel program, and multi-channel merchandising operated by the Trust and the Trust in alliance with its Chicago area partner organizations. The Trust is governed by a Board of Directors to whom the President and CEO reports. The Trust receives donations and grants from local, national and international individuals, foundations and corporations.
Trust Site Locations
Trust historic sites are located in five Chicago area locations:
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
The Rookery Light Court, 209 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60604
Unity Temple, 875 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301
Frederick C. Robie House, 5757 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637
Emil Bach House, 7415 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626
Oriel staircase, The Rookery.
Photograph: Joanna Arnold.