Hyde Park/Kenwood’s most famous house is in the midst of an exciting transformation. The Frederick C. Robie House, designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright from 1908-10, welcomes 40,000 visitors each year from around the U.S. and abroad, and its public programs form a dynamic link between the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, the Uni­versity of Chicago and the surrounding communities. The Trust is now raising funds to complete the Robie House restoration.

Completed in 1910, the Robie House is the consummate expression of Wright’s visionary prairie style. As the last of Wright’s true Prairie houses, the building synthesizes all of the major innovations of Wright’s ground-breaking design philosophy. The house is conceived as an integral whole - site and structure, interior and exterior, furniture, ornament and architecture, every element is connected. The building is the most innovative and forward thinking of all Wright’s Prairie houses.

The restoration of Robie House will renew Wright’s vision for his Prairie-style masterpiece, preserving it for current and future generations. The project will build upon work undertaken by the Trust to stabilize the building. In collaboration with the award-winning preservation firm of Harboe Architects, this final phase of restoration will address Wright’s magnificent leaded glass windows, interior and exterior lighting, historic finishes and coloration, original and reproduction furniture and carpets, and enhanced orientation and education spaces for visitors.

From 2000 to 2009, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust completed Phase I of the restoration of the Robie House, including comprehensive stabilization of the foundation and steel frame structure, restoration of exterior brick and masonry, construction of a new tile roof and gutters, and new electrical, climate and fire control systems, at a cost of $6.5 million. The Trust is raising funds to complete Phase II of the restoration.

Phase II Funding

The Trust has received a $50,000 grant from the Friends of Heritage Preservation to conduct initial restoration of the building’s leaded glass windows. Robie House includes some of Wright’s best-known windows. The architect designed 175 doors and windows for Robie House of which 163 remain in the house today.

A $50,000 grant was recently awarded by The Getty Foundation’s Keeping It Modern initiative. The grant, one of ten awarded to conserve iconic modern architecture around the world, will allow us to develop a long-term conservation management plan, the first for a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

In late 2013, the Alphawood Foundation awarded a $2,000,000 challenge grant to complete the $6.5M restoration.

Additional support has been provided by the Hickory Foundation.

Getty Foundation Announces Grants for 20th-Century Buildings. The New York Times
Two stories for two Wright houses in Chicago. Chicago Tribune

You can be part of the historic Robie House restoration

To learn more or to arrange a gift, contact Tom Gull, Director of Development at tgull@flwright.org or call 312.994.4010. Donors who contribute a gift of $10,000 or more will be recognized on the donor wall at Robie House.

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