Editor’s Note: Every year many generous owners of Frank Lloyd Wright houses near the historic Frank Lloyd Wright home and office in Oak Park open their doors to thousands of curious Frank Lloyd Wright devotees.
Read our report of the 2018 Frank Lloyd Wright House Walk—
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Presents Annual WRIGHT PLUS HOUSE WALK Review — Mecca for Frank Lloyd Wright Devotees
If you are curious about what it is like to own a Frank Lloyd Wright home, meet Linda Piccinini (LP), who, along with her husband Peter Varga, lives in the unusual round shaped Charles E. Roberts Stable pictured above that is part of this tour.
Read her comments below to Picture This Post (PTP) on what it is like to be part of the tour and to live in this historic home year round.
(PTP) Please tell our readers a little about yourselves. Are you architects or artists by chance? Does your work in any way reflect your interest in living in a historic FLW home? Where else have you lived before?
(LP) We both work in the medical field—we are not architects. We lived in the Frederick Law Olmstead-planned village of Riverside, IL and in a William Price “Arts & Crafts” home outside Philadelphia, PA before this home.
When did you each first hear of Frank Lloyd Wright? Had you read the many books about him? Are you from Oak Park originally? And had you been on this house tour yourself?
We are not from Oak Park, but we have both known about Frank Lloyd Wright for our entire adult lives. We had never toured any of the other historic Frank Lloyd Wright sites. Since becoming FLW homeowners, we have read several of the books about him and have volunteered as Wright Plus house staff for several years.
Did you seek out a historic Frank Lloyd Wright home or in one way or another “stumble upon it”?
We happened upon this home by chance at the suggestion of our real estate agent after visiting many other homes in Oak Park. Our agent, who happens to be a personal friend, described it as a “little quirky” but thought that we might like it…
Did you raise a family in this home?
Yes, we have lived here since 2007. We raised our children through high school and college years in this home.
How does living in a Frank Lloyd Home change your life—compared to other places where you have lived?
We have always invested a good deal of time and energy into maintaining our homes but probably have more lovingly “restored” this one. We have paid particular attention to its unique features, mindful of its architectural significance and place in the history of Oak Park and its historic district.
Were you drawn to this home because of the unusual round room feature?
You point out the feature that first attracted our attention and interest in the home. The wonderful thing about this round room--besides its unusual acoustic feature, resulting in a slight delay or “feedback” noticed only by the speaker exactly centered in the room--is that it needs very little embellishment. The roundness allows you to do less and let the form of the room “speak for itself”.
Are there other special features in your home that date back to Frank Lloyd Wright that you especially love?
We are especially fond of two features: the stained glass panel facing our kitchen inspired by sculptural elements from the FLW Home & Studio and the second story landing glass light fixture.
How did your participation –opening your home to visitors- come about?
This was the first time we participated in the tour—the organization had approached us to participate and we were glad to be a part of it. It surpassed our expectations in every way! It took a lot of preparation to get ready for the tour, but we had a lot of help from the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Not only did they help with all of the details, large and small, but our house team made it all look incredibly “easy”, which was tremendously reassuring as it probably is to all homeowners embarking on this sort of tour for the first time. And that was just the beginning…they generously stayed until every detail was checked with us after the tour ended.
Where did you go during the tour?
We happily joined the Wright Plus housewalk and toured all of the homes, including our own, where we attempted to remain incognito 😉
I don’t think we have ever felt as happy in our home as after the Wright Plus event, where coming home felt like we had had our home lovingly cared for, “curated” and appreciated by so many people.
Do random people knock on your door at other times of the year asking for a tour?
Never with one exception: the day we moved in 2 very brazen men asked if we would mind if they “peeked into” our home which they had heard so much about. We told them they could but probably would not find much of interest to see as there were boxes floor to ceiling everywhere!
We find lots of visitors during weekends in the warmer months with cameras and walking/cycling tour maps who respectfully remain outside the wrought iron gate, allowing us to enjoy our morning coffee on the front patio, unseen behind the foliage…
Are you inclined to enter your home into the tour again next year?
We would be pleased to consider a future Wright Plus event should we be asked.
Read more about this tour—