Around Hyde Park: Frank Lloyd Wright homes

A service of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference and its website, Help support our program: Join the Conference!

Our informal virtual tour of Hyde Park and Kenwood continues with two of the homes by Frank Lloyd Wright, Heller and Robie. Bootleg homes, including Blossom, will follow.

To information about Robie House (including praise as one of HP's greatest assets)
Information about Heller House.
Robie House/Frank L. Wright Home and Studio websites.
Virtual tour of Hyde Park-Kenwood start.
Trish Morse's Tour of Midway Plaisance and neighboring University of Chicago buildings.
Quadrangle Club. Harper Theater and Herald Building. Blackstone Branch Library. Lorado Taft's Fountain of Time, Fountain of Time views.
History and Preservation home and to subpages In Depth, Hot, Preservation Beat, Landmarks Criteria.
Parks pages also have many walking galleries.

Frederick Robie House, 1909, 5757 S. Woodlawn Avenue. Isidore Heller House, 1897, 5132 S. Woodlawn Avenue.
About Heller House.

Robie House, Frank Lloyd Wright. Series of views Robie House
Robie House Robie House


Heller House, Frank Lloyd Wright. Series of views Heller House
Heller House Heller House
Heller House, views highlighting exterior details Heller House, column detail
Heller House Heller House ext. detail
Heller House Heller House

5124 S. Woodlawn, south of Heller House, being restored.

House to south of Heller at 5134 being rehabbed


About Heller House (Chicago Landmark Sept. 15, 1971, National Register):
Isidore Heller house was designed in 1896 and built the next year. The design is tranitional between Wright's work with Louis Sullivan and Wright's Prairie Style. The narrow Chicago lot inspired or was taken advantage of by Wright to crate an I-plan or "in-line" design. A stair hall at the side entrance separates the living room from the dining and service area. The stairs at the far (north) side of the entrance is truly grand and arresting. The three-story structure exterior is simple, geometric and severe in neutral tones--until you start to see the massed details massing the simple colors. These are a monitor roof, Romanesque columns, colonnaded second storia loggia, and ornate third story frieze of draped female figures (angels?) sculptured in plaster by Chicagoan Richard Bock--Beaux Arts (though suggesting Adamesque via Sullivan)--from Wright's own title page design for hie 1896 The Eve of Saint Agnes. Sullivan's influence is most evidnent in the panels and columns by the entrance; the most "Wrightian" elements are the strong horizontal lines, overhanging low-rise roofs, and roman style brick--in many places such as columns and second story sections in alternating colors or relief.

Most of the interior remains intact. The woodwork and glass windows, including that flanking the main entrance and on the stairs, are especially spectacular, the windows being completely abstract and the metal built up in layers instead of soldering (unique). Windows are double-hung, which Wright would later reject as "guillotine." Wright added an elevator in 1909. The house has had 10 owners.