Nope not talking about Frank Sinatra or Frankie Avalon (hmmm I must be dating myself for sure). Frank Lloyd Wright , the architect is the man of the hour.
After our fill of Greenfield Village, actually it was more like history overload, we headed for another Ford place Fair Lane, also in Dearborn. This was Henry Ford's home, built in 1909 and designed by a bunch of people including FLW. Frank participated in the initial design but took off to Europe with Martha Borthwick, the women he was having a fling with. Marion Mahoney Griffin (one of the first female licensed architects in the world) took over and applied her interpretation of the Prairie Style Henry and his wife were also on a trip to Europe, when they returned fired Griffin and hired William H Van Tine. He added the English Manor touches. Then Joseph Nathaniel French (who did the Fisher Building in Detroit) took over and completed the joint in 1913.
This completed our stay in the Detroit area and we headed for Chi Town. In the south part of town right in the heart of University of Chicago lies some National Historic Landmarks we were chasing down. I felt particularly safe in this corner of Chi Town, there was campus security on almost every corner we were on.
First up is the Frank R Lillie House, built in 1904 and designed by the Pond Firm. Chicago architecture was branching out and new styles were emerging. This style is hard to pin down, but this place is a Landmark due to Lillie, who was a contributed to the science of embryology. He was born in Toronto and had ties to Woods Hole down on the cape. He lived from 1870 to 1947 and was a professor at many colleges including the University of Chicago.
Not to far away is the Frederick C Robie House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, completed in 1908. It blows my mind that the house is so contemporary looking but built at the turn of the 20th century. This is FLW most well know home based on the Prairie Style. Originally built for the Robie family it was soon sold to David Taylor and then again to Marshall Wilber. He sold it to the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1926. The Seminary planned to rip the house down, but WWII interrupted those plans and then in 1957 there was talk about demolishing it again. A protest on campus ensued and Wright at age 90, was quoted saying "It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy"
Couple blocks over is the Arthur Compton House, another National Historic Landmark. Art was a physicist who discovered the Compton Effect, winning the Nobel Prize in physics. The Compton Effect proved that light was both a particle and a wave. Way beyond my understanding. Pretty simple house.
The Robert A Millikan house was another physics nerd and also won the Nobel Prize. He was the one the coined the "Cosmic Ray" another thing way over my head. Keep in mind it was at the University of Chicago, where Fermi has the first sustained nuclear reaction, which lead to the atomic bomb.
One of the Churches in the neighborhood.
One last house is the Isidore Heller House. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, built in 1897. It marked Frank's turning point in his career to the Prairie Style, which used geometric shapes, strong emphasis on horizontal lines, broad overhangs, and coexistence with the natural environment. It was meant to evoke the feelings of the nature surroundings of the surrounding prairie.
Finished in Chicago for the day, we headed westward and then north to Madison Wisconsin, getting into our hotel late, just in time to avoid the tornado watch or warning. Lets just say it rained a lot. A real lot
Todays road travel