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Illinois/Wisconsin

Architectural Masterworks of Frank Lloyd Wright

Program No. 22976RJ
Celebrate legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright as you visit his greatest works in Wisconsin and Illinois, from his home and studio to the S.C. Johnson building.

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At a Glance

Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized architecture, opening up new realms for designers and creating new challenges for builders and engineers. Of the 532 Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the U.S., over 150 of them were built in Illinois and Wisconsin. Celebrate the work of this legendary architect as you visit some of his greatest works in the Midwest. Through discussions and field trips with Wright experts, learn how his work continues to impact modern architecture, and discover some of that modern architecture on city explorations of Madison, Racine, Milwaukee, Oak Park and Chicago with local experts.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles and standing for up to three hours.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • In historic Oak Park, Illinois, discover Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio, designed by Wright and considered by many scholars to be the world’s first example of true modern architecture.
  • Experience the work of Frank Lloyd Wright in Racine through an exploration of the S.C. Johnson Wax Administration Building and Research Tower, considered one of the 25 most important buildings of the 20th Century.
  • Learn about the rich history and culture of architecture in Chicago on an architectural study of the city from the Chicago River.

General Notes

For the convenience of participants who wish to fly in and out of Chicago, or drive and park their cars for the entirety of the program, the motor coach will depart the hotel in Wisconsin at 9:00 am and return to the Club Quarters in Chicago in the early afternoon.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg is the author and photographer of four books about Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in southeastern Wisconsin: “Wright in Racine” (2004). “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hardy House” (2006), “Frank Lloyd Wright’s SC Johnson Research Tower” (2010), and “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate” (2019). He is the newsletter editor and secretary of “Wright in Wisconsin,” the only statewide group devoted to the architect’s work. A native of New York City, Mark received a BA in international relations from Lake Forest College in 1972.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg View biography
Mark Hertzberg is the author and photographer of four books about Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in southeastern Wisconsin: “Wright in Racine” (2004). “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hardy House” (2006), “Frank Lloyd Wright’s SC Johnson Research Tower” (2010), and “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate” (2019). He is the newsletter editor and secretary of “Wright in Wisconsin,” the only statewide group devoted to the architect’s work. A native of New York City, Mark received a BA in international relations from Lake Forest College in 1972.
Profile Image of Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg View biography
Mark Hertzberg is the author and photographer of four books about Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in southeastern Wisconsin: “Wright in Racine” (2004), “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hardy House” (2006), “Frank Lloyd Wright’s SC Johnson Research Tower” (2010), and “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate” (2019). A native of New York City, Mark received a B.A. in international relations from Lake Forest College in 1972. Mark has been inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Profile Image of Gayle Felix
Gayle Felix View biography
Gayle Felix has been a Road Scholar group leader since 2015. She grew up and raised her family outside of Boston and now resides in Hingham, Massachusetts. With a history/American studies degree from Boston University, she enjoys sharing the history of Boston and surrounding areas. Gayle has led programs in New England focusing on Cape Cod, Coastal Maine, and The Berkshires. In addition, she has led programs in Washington, D.C.; Chicago; and elsewhere in the United States. Gayle enjoys biking, golfing, hiking, and kayaking.
Profile Image of Phyliss Kozlowski
Phyliss Kozlowski View biography
Dr. Phyllis Kozlowski is a native Chicagoan who has an extensive background in the history and architecture of the city. She has worked as a travel expert for several organizations giving tours locally and internationally. As a former college professor and author, she also has a background in art history. She has often been invited to give lectures on the city and its cultural scene. Recognized as an outstanding educator, her enthusiasm for sharing information about her city is evident in all her presentations.
Profile Image of Linda Chesnut
Linda Chesnut View biography
Linda Chesnut is from Chicago, Illinois. With over 15 years of experience, she has been leading groups through different areas of the world including Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, Greece, and more. She is a proud member of the Chicago Tour Professional Association, Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the World Federation of Tourist Guide Association.
Profile Image of Adam Selzer
Adam Selzer View biography
Adam Selzer, an author and historian, has spent over a decade running hundreds of travel programs in Chicago, often showcasing the humor that he used in his acclaimed novels including 'Just Kill Me,' 'Play Me Backwards,' and the cult favorite 'I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It.' His nonfiction titles include as 'Ghosts of Chicago,' 'Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the US Film Industry,' 'The Smart Aleck’s Guide to American History,' 'Mysterious Chicago,' and 'H.H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil.'
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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7 days
6 nights
15 meals
6 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Chicago, IL
D
Hyatt Place Chicago River North

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table on the first floor to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. We’ll then meet in the hotel lobby and walk together to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Orientation: 7:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. The remainder of the evening is at leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Architecture Study Cruise, Robie House
Chicago, IL
B,L
Hyatt Place Chicago River North

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; periods of standing up to 1/2 hour at a time. Getting on/off a boat; cruising approximately 90 minutes. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 8 miles one way, up to 1/2 hour riding time each way to/from Hyde Park.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board a boat to experience the spectacular skyline architecture of Chicago from the perspective of the Chicago River. The Chicago Fire in 1871 destroyed much of the city's commercial property, which provided an opportunity for those who had the vision to merge structural steel and plate glass into vertical architectural wonders, thereby giving birth to the first skyscrapers. Through commentary provided by our onboard expert, we will gain a deeper understanding of the works of famous 19th- and 20th-century architects including Burnham, Jenny, Root and Sullivan, Van der Rohe and Goldberg.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After boarding our motorcoach, we will transfer to spend the afternoon in Hyde Park, home of the University of Chicago and President Obama. Upon arrival, we will go on an expert-led exploration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House (1908-1910). Completed in 1910, this home is talked about as one of the most important buildings in American Architecture. Please note: The second floor of Robie House – which includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen – is not wheelchair accessible.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions

Evening: We will return to the hotel and the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. You may choose to take in the view of the city from 360 Chicago in the John Hancock Building, see the color-light show at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, or take an evening stroll down the Magnificent Mile. The Group Leader will be happy to offer information and suggestions.

DAY
3
Home & Studio Oak Park, Unity Temple
Chicago, IL
B,L,D
Hyatt Place Chicago River North

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles throughout the day; many stairs at FLW home and studio. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 11 miles one way, up to 1/2 hour riding time each way. Getting on/off a boat; cruising approximately 1.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach bound for historic Oak Park where we will have an expert-led exploration of the first home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright. While here, we’ll gain a deeper insight into the work of Wright and have an opportunity to travel around this historic neighborhood with a subject expert. Oak Park is renowned for having the greatest number of Wright-designed buildings. Please note: The Frank Lloyd Wright Home is not accessible to wheelchairs of any size as all entries to the Home have stairs. The Studio balcony is not accessible to wheelchairs. It is only accessible by a steep, narrow stairway.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Oak Park.

Afternoon: Afterwards, we’ll explore another important of Frank Lloyd Wright. We'll have an expert led exploration of the Unity Temple. The Unity Temple is essential example of Wright’s early Prairie School of design and one of eight designated UNESCO World Heritage sites of Wright's works.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. You may wish to seek out some of the many choices for entertainment in the city or relax at the hotel. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
4
SC Johnson, Racine
Racine, WI
B,L,D
Double Tree by Hilton Racine Harbourwalk

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles throughout the day; many stairs. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 80 miles from Chicago to Racine, approximately 1.5 hours riding time. Legal identification is required for a field trip to the SC Johnson headquarters.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll board a motorcoach for Racine, Wisconsin where we will meet our local expert.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Racine, Wisconsin.

Afternoon: At the restaurant in Racine, we will be joined by a local Frank Lloyd Wright expert for our study of Wright in Wisconsin. Next, we’ll travel to the SC Johnson corporate headquarters in Racine for a visit. Both the Administration Building and Research Tower were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the Administration Building is considered by many to be one of 25 most important buildings of the 20th Century. Known for its unique Great Workroom, the open work space features dendriform columns and circular “birdcage” elevators. Please note: at the SC Johnson Golden Rondelle Theater and Fortaleza Hall, stairs are required to reach the upper levels of the Administration Building. The Research Tower is accessible only via stairs. We’ll then transfer to the hotel and check in.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: After dinner, our local expert will give a lecture on specific Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and architectural elements. Afterwards, prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
Frank Lloyd Wright in Milwaukee & Madison
Middleton, WI
B,D
Fairfield Inn and Suites Madison West/Middleton

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles throughout the day, some steps. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 135 miles throughout the day, approximately 4.5 hours total riding time.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Once checked out of the hotel, we’ll board our motorcoach for a short journey to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where we will go on an expert-led exploration of the American System-Built Homes (1912-1916), designed by Wright for low- and moderate-income families. Please note: Frank Lloyd Wright’s American System-Built Homes are not handicapped accessible. Our next stop will be in Wauwatosa, where our own resident expert will lead us on an exploration of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Byzantine architectural forms are reinterpreted here to reflect a modern aesthetic in this design. Wright began to design the Church in 1956, but he died prior to the completion of its construction.

Lunch: On your own at the Milwaukee Public Market.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we’ll transfer from Milwaukee to Madison where we’ll see more of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. On our way to the hotel for check-in, we will stop to look at Monona Terrace, located on the shore of Lake Monona. First proposed in 1938 as a convention center for the capital city, the project finally went forward in 1992 with the exterior designed by Wright and the interior based upon a design by Taliesin architect Tony Puttnam. Today, this beautiful space is home to conventions, private, and civic events, often thrilling people with its beauty and stunning views of the lake, skyline and the dome of the state capital.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in Middleton near to the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Frank Lloyd Wright in Madison, Taliesin Estate
Middleton, WI
B,L,D
Fairfield Inn and Suites Madison West/Middleton

Activity note: Extensive walking with periods of standing at Taliesin Estate for up to 2 hours; uneven terrain. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 40 miles to Spring Green; under 1 hour riding time one-way.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board the motorcoach and head out for an expert-led exploration of the Unitarian Meeting House, considered to be one of the world's most important examples of Church Architecture. Our next stop will bring us to the Wyoming Valley School, the building (built in 1957) was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, who donated his design and two acres of land to the School District in honor of his mother, Anna Lloyd-Jones Wright.

Lunch: At the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor's Center.

Afternoon: With a local expert, we’ll explore the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor’s Center and the 800-acre Taliesin Estate, which was Wright’s home for 48 years from 1911 until 1959. The estate features buildings that represent his work across his career as it served as a laboratory for architectural design and innovation. We’ll then head back to our hotel for transfer to our farewell dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Middleton, WI
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. We will provide a motorcoach back to Chicago for drop off at the Hyatt Place River North; driving up to 142 miles, approximately 2.5 hours riding time.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: For the convenience of participants who wish to fly in and out of Chicago, or drive and park their cars for the entirety of the program, the motorcoach will depart the hotel in Middleton at 9:00 am with a drop-off at the Chicago airports before returning to the Hyatt Place River North in Chicago in the early afternoon. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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