Friday, December 02, 2011

Wright in the City

When you are hanging with me, you get hooked up with free tours of the Rookery Building's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed lobby. With complimentary champagne. Because that's how I roll.

Oh, and carolers.

To get more reasonable tickets to the Wright Plus house tour in Oak Park this spring, I became a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. This means I get notifications about cool events like this.

I have always loved the Rookery Building, even before I knew that the lobby was designed by Mr. Wright. I used to work in the Clark Adams building, which is right behind the Rookery (and was also designed by Burnham & Root), and I actually got to walk up the forbidden steps of the lobby when I had a delivery to U.S. Bank. This time I got to go up the steps again, plus more, on a free tour of the Rookery lobby mezzanine.

You can see that the lobby is very ornate, classy, and very different from Wright's usual prairie style design. This is basically an homage and update of Root's original Victorian-style lobby. I also think it's a kind of reversion to his old days as Louis Sullivan's protégé. Either way, it's one impressive lobby.

One part of the original Root design survives, and that's the stairway from the second floor to the third and above. You can see that it's much darker, although the flower motifs are reflected in the banisters in the main lobby.

In fact, here are some of Wright's modified flower motifs in the staircase that I'm standing on!

It was a lovely tour and evening with Dave; we drank our champagne, ate some desserts, and bought some Frank Lloyd Wright-patterned wrapping paper for a pet decorating project of mine, which I hope to carry out this winter.

What a good introduction to the holiday season, and to December! Wright on!

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