The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust recently completed the $11 million interior restoration of the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago. The Prairie style home is considered a precursor of modernism in architecture and was designated by the American Institute of Architects as one of the 10 most significant structures of the twentieth century.
The restoration brought the home back to its original 1910 vision. The interior restoration included the main entry hall and stairway, billiard room, and children’s playroom on the ground floor, and the living room, dining room, and guest bedroom on the main floor. The work reflects Wright’s original vision in coloration, wall textures, lighting, leaded-glass windows and doors, millwork, and cabinetry. As much of the original plasterwork as possible was retained, while a textured lime-putty plaster technique was applied to the walls to replicate the original process. A magnesite floor throughout the ground level reproduces the original material and a recreated leaded-glass front entry door was installed after the original door was destroyed in a student demonstration in the 1960s.
Photo: Tim Long.
Cabinetry in the dining room and children’s playroom and the original inglenook surrounding the living room fireplace were reconstructed. Original and recreated light fixtures were combined throughout and several items of original furniture, including the dining table and chairs, were returned to the house on loan from the Smart Museum of Art.
The Frederick C. Robie House opens to the public on March 29 with new tours and programs that include Robie House: A Modern Home, Robie House Past and Present, and Robie House In-Depth.
South balcony doors. Photo: Photo: James Caulfield.