Arizona is home to the jaw-dropping Grand Canyon, crazy desert wildlife, and very hot summers.
Illinois is home to plenty of historic architecture, from the iconic skyscrapers of downtown Chicago, to the beloved Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois. This midwestern state with its vast land has been at the forefront for unique buildings and homes. Hidden in Plano, Illinois is an elegant glass home called the Farnsworth House.
The Farnsworth House was designed in the 1940s and constructed over six years, between 1945 and 1951. This outstanding home was designed by well acclaimed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The name of the home comes from the woman that commissioned the work back in the 1940s. Dr. Edith Farnsworth sought out a home that she could embrace and explore her hobbies at, which included reading and studying poetry, playing the violin and admiring nature. The glass elements allowed her to feel close to nature even when the ground was covered in snow and the temperatures chilly, as they often are in the midwest.
Plano, Illinois is about sixty miles outside of the city of Chicago. It is incredible to think that roughly an hour or so drive outside of Chicago hides this epic modern styled home. The relatively modest size, approximately 1500 square feet, is indicative for the decade, and shows visitors that thoughtful design can open up a space regardless of the size. Dr. Farnsworth used her home as a lovely weekend retreat for well over twenty years. Prior to being built, a scale model was actually displayed at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York City. Even then, museum goers knew that this construction would be something special.
The property surrounding the home is sixty acres and covered in scenic trees and plants. Regardless of the season, the Farnsworth House offers out of this world, one of a kind views. The glass elements of the home allow the visitor to feel connected with the surrounding nature from any room. The modern design has truly stood the test of time, still seeming like a brand new construction even today. After Dr. Farnsworth sold the house, it was still used as a private residence for almost fifty years, and in 2003 was purchased by Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust For Historic Preservation.
Currently, the house is available to rent for events like wedding ceremonies or receptions, photo shoots, luncheons or bridal showers. The estate will offer guests of the event guided tours sharing historical information about the home, a unique activity for visitors. The grounds are meticulously manicured, and can offer an upscale backdrop for all kinds of events.
Unfortunately, the home has seen some water damage over the years due to increased rain and runoff. The estate has tried their best to maintain the original features and overall character of the home, but the issue still persists year after year. They are actively working with The National Trust For Historic Preservation to continue to maintain this endlessly elegant home. I highly suggest considering visiting this estate while you can. Tours are offered a few days a week during spring and through fall.