Architectural Masterworks of Frank Lloyd Wright

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.
Rating (4.92)
Program No. 22976RJ
7 days
Starts at
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7 days
6 nights
15 meals
6 B 4 L 5 D
Check-In, Program Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Chicago, Illinois
Hyatt Place Chicago River North

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

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 and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. We’ll then meet in the hotel lobby and walk together to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a delicious plated welcome dinner with iced tea, water, tea, or coffee; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Immediately following dinner at the restaurant we will remain gathered for Orientation. Orientation. 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. Unless specified otherwise, transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach requires ascending/descending a few steps when getting on/off. 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. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Chicago Architecture, Loop Architecture, Robie House
Chicago, Illinois
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. Driving approximately 8 miles one way; up to 1/2 hour each way to/from Hyde Park.

Breakfast: We will enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: We will begin the day with a lecture at the hotel given by a local expert on the rich culture and history of architecture in Chicago including the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Following the lecture, we will set off with our local architecture expert on our first walking field trip through the city as we explore the interiors of some of the Loop's most interesting architectural spaces. The Loop, which got its name from the elevated trains that loop this area in the heart of the business district, is an excellent place to begin our study of the city because it features many early examples of skyscrapers, and an amazing array of public art.

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: 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 Leaders will be happy to offer suggestions. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

Home & Studio Oak Park, Architecture Study Cruise
Chicago, Illinois
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 motorcoach; driving approximately 11 miles one way; up to 1/2 hour each way. Getting on/off a boat; ride will be approx.; about 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, we’ll have plated meals, plus iced tea, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Afterwards, we’ll return to the city where 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with iced tea, water, hot tea, or coffee; other beverages available for purchase.

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 Leaders will be happy to offer information and suggestions.

SC Johnson, Racine
Racine Wisconsin
Delta Hotels by Marriott Racine

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles throughout the day; many stairs. Driving approximately 80 miles from Chicago to Racine; about 1.5 hours.

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. The author of three books about Frank Lloyd Wright's work in Racine, Wisconsin, and an award winning journalist, our local expert also serves on the Board of Directors 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: 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 Penwern, Wright’s Fred B. Jones summer cottage and estate on Delavan Lake, Wisconsin (1900 - 1903).

Frank Lloyd Wright in Milwaukee & Madison
Middleton, Wisconsin
Fairfield Inn and Suites Madison West/Middleton

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles throughout the day, some steps. Driving approx. 135 miles throughout the day in two trips; about 2.5 hours total – approx. 30 miles, 1/2 hour, to Milwaukee; Approx. 104 miles, 2 hours, to Madison.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated breakfast with coffee, tea, water.

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-Build 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 completion of 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.

Frank Lloyd Wright in Madison, Taliesin Estate
Middleton, Wisconsin
Fairfield Inn and Suites Madison West/Middleton

Activity note: Extensive walking with periods of standing at Taliesin Estate for up to 4 hours; uneven terrain. Driving approx. 40 miles to Spring Green; about 1 hour.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet breakfast featuring hot and healthy choices like eggs, breakfast meats, oatmeal, fresh fruit and yogurt, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Our first stop this morning will be to the Jacobs I Usonian House on the west side of Madison with our local expert. Designed with the philosophy of form following function, the Usonian houses were built to relate to nature as if they emerged straight from the earth. Homes were built with natural materials, including wood, stone and baked clay. Just a short distance away, we will have 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 Taliesin Estate and the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center, or "Gateway" to the Estate where we will spend the rest of the day.

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. Please Note: at Taliesin none of our public tours are wheelchair accessible. Two hour House Tour Guests will be on their feet for most of this tour and there is one opportunity to sit. One hour Hillside Studio & Theater tour Guests will be on their feel for most of this tour and there are two opportunities to sit. Guests will walk on a gravel driveway for about ¼ block as they approach this building. There are several stone stairs at the entrance and about 6 stairs once inside. There will be another 6 stairs going back down when exiting. There are stairs in the theater and you descend them to sit in the theater seats. You will then ascend them as you leave this room. The group then walks on a gravel driveway for about ½ block to return to the shuttle. We’ll then head back to our hotel for transfer to our farewell dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends including time to reflect on all that we have seen and learned about Frank Lloyd Wright on our adventure.

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.

Program Concludes
Middleton, Wisconsin

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. We will provide a motor coach back to Chicago for drop off at the Hyatt Place River North.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. 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 motor coach will depart the hotel in MIddleton at 9:00 am and return to the Hyatt Place River North in Chicago in the early afternoon. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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