OAK PARK VISITORS CENTER
The Oak Park Visitors center provides
information about local attractions,
accommodations, shopping, dining and
special events that are within the 21
suburbs that encompass the Oak Park
Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The Visitors Center has a wide variety
of gift and souvenir options, including
Frank Lloyd Wright art glass, Tiffany
Lamps, Oak Park t-shirts, mugs and
more as mementos of your visit.
The Heart of Oak Park Walking Tour – A
free, state-of-the-art tour describing
the evolution of architecture from
Victorian to Prairie School is available,
as are tickets for tours of Unity Temple,
Hemingway’s Birthplace and Museum
and Historic Pleasant Home.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and
Studio (Operated by the Frank
Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust)
951 Chicago Avenue
This unusual complex served as Wright’s private residence and studio from 1889 to 1909 the first 20 years of his career.
Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, trying out design concepts before sharing them with clients. Here,
he raised six children with his first wife
Catherine Tobin, and designed such
famous buildings as the Robie House,
Larkin Building and Unity Temple.
Interior guided tours the Home and Studio (45 minutes) are conducted Monday through Friday. In addition, the area surrounding the Oak Park Home and Studio contains the world’s largest
concentration of Wright-designed
structures. Self-guided exterior audio
tour of the Oak Park Historic District
available in six languages, 10 a.m. to
3:30 p.m. daily. Guided exterior walking tour weekends only, March-October: 11
a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour,
November-February: 12, 1, 2 p.m. Admission $12/
adults, $10/youth (7-18) and senior
(65+). Self guided maps also available.
Frank Lloyd Wrights Unity Temple
875 Lake Street, Oak Park
One of Oak Park’s “gems” and one of
the most famous buildings in the world,
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple is
a National Historic Landmark and an
icon of modern architecture. It is open
to the public 7 days a week, yearround
and attracts thousands of visitors
every year. When the original church
building was struck by lightening and
burned to the ground in June 1905,
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of
several architects considered.
Wright received the commission and designed a daring, groundbreaking new structure, which now stands as the last surviving public building from his Oak Park “Prairie” period. Unity Temple Restoration Foundation restores and preserves
Unity Temple and fosters awareness of
its significance with cultural programs.
Unity Temple Concert Series
875 Lake Street, Oak Park
Frank Lloyd Wright nderstood perhaps
better than any architect before or
since that architecture is not about bricks and mortar: it is about the space created, the space within that inspires. For 36 years, Unity Temple Concert Series has kept alive Wright’s legacy in searching
out musicians whose artistry is on a par
with the inspiration of Wright’s space.
Historic Pleasant Home
217 S. Home Avenue, Oak Park
Pleasant Home is a National Historic
Landmark building designed in 1897 by
noted Prairie School architect George
W. Maher for investment banker and
philanthropist John W. Farson.
Pleasant Home is one of the earliest and most distinguished examples of Prairie architecture in the country and has one of the best-preserved interiors of that
design era. Visitors experience the
extraordinary art glass, custom furniture, intricately carved woodwork and unique design details in this historical and architectural treasure through
guided tours. The Pleasant Home
Foundation (PHF), a non-profit
organization established in 1990, is
dedicated to restoring, preserving
and operating this 30-room
architectural landmark as a historic
house museum. Tour, tea and light
refreshments any Thursday, 1:30
to 4:30p.m. year-round, but only
with advanced reservations, at
the Pleasant Home is offered at
a charge of $25.00 per person.
Ernest Hemingway Museum
Explore displays featuring
rare photos of Hemingway, his
childhood diary, letters, early
writings and other memorabilia.
Enjoy videos documenting
the author’s life and work.
Ernest Hemingway Birthplace
339 N. Oak Park Avenue, Oak Park
Visit the Victorian home where
Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest
Hemingway was born in 1899 and
learn about his early family life.
The Historical Society of Oak
Park and River Forest Located in the Pleasant Home, Second & Third Floors
217 Home Avenue, Oak Park
The Oak Park Conservatory
615 Garfield Street, Oak Park
The Oak Park Conservatory, built
in 1929, consists of three separate
show house environments. The
Conservatory Center opened in
2000. The Fern Room houses
ferns and orchids, as well as other
exotic plants and colorful seasonal
flower displays. Wander into the
rain forest as you enter the Tropical
Room, lush with unusual flowering
plants, palms, waterfalls, tropical
birds and a lagoon. The Desert
Room provides a counterpoint to
the humidity of the Tropic Room.
Discover cacti, succulents, aloes
and the spectacular “Century Plants”
which grow for 25 years before
sending up their tall flower stalk.
The Harold “Hal” Tyrrell
738 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest
Open daily, except Thursday. Admission is free. Group tours must be arranged by calling the museum. Winter hours: 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m./Summer hours: 9:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. The Trailside is a nature center for local wildlife and offers programs for all ages. (See
picture below). The Harold “Hal”
Tyrell Trailside Museum SECTION C
Oak Park-River Forest Chamber of
Commerce Community Guide 46
CULTURE & TOURISM
The Forest Preserves in River Forest
536 N. Harlem Avenue, River Forest
The Preserves are part of a 68,000
acre county system which fosters
the preservation and rehabilitation
of wildlife and plantlife native to
Illinois. The General Headquarters
for the Forest Preserve District is
located in Cummings Square.
The area borders the Des Plaines
River which is River Forest’s western
border. Picnic areas and hiking trails are accessible on Chicago Avenue west of Thatcher Avenue and on Thatcher Avenue north of North Avenue. Call for maps and information on trails, sports, recreation and nature programs.