One of the twentieth century’s most significant buildings, the Frederick C. Robie House (1908-10), on the campus of the University of Chicago, is undergoing a 14-month interior restoration by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Robie House is the consummate expression of his visionary Prairie style. Innovative and forward thinking in design, the building synthesizes all the major innovations of Wright’s ground-breaking architectural philosophy. The house is conceived as an integral whole - site and structure, interior and exterior, furniture, ornament and architecture, every element is connected.
The Robie House welcomes 40,000 visitors each year from around the U.S. and abroad. During the interior restoration, public tours will continue. Visitors will have an opportunity to observe the work in progress, and learn about the methods and processes through which a historic building is brought back to its original glory to inspire future generations.
Work includes plaster and coloration of walls and ceilings, woodwork and floor treatments, light fixtures, and selected leaded glass windows and doors. Rooms being treated include the main entry hall and stairway, billiard room, children’s playroom on the ground floor, and the living room, dining room and guest bedroom on the main floor. Completion is anticipated in early 2019.
From 2000 to 2009, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust completed an exterior 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.
During 2015-17 the Trust commissioned a series of analytic studies of the site to confirm the stability and fitness of its mechanical and structural systems, and to research original interior plaster, color and wood treatments.
Harboe Architects is the architect of record for the project and Bulley & Andrews is the general contractor. Karen Sweeney, preservation architect and the Trust’s facilities director, is the project manager.
Major funders of the over $3 million project include Alphawood Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Meijer Foundation, Tawani Foundation, Viñoly Family Foundation, Richard and Mary Gray, and John and Jeanne Rowe.
See the historic restoration in progress
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 email@example.com or call 312.994.4010.