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Farnsworth House, Plano
(4.6/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945 and 1951. It is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago's downtown on a 60-acre (24 ha) estate site, adjoining the Fox River, south of the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago nephrologist, as a place where she could engage in her hobbies — playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature. Mies created a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) house that is widely recognized as an iconic masterpiece of International Style of architecture. The home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, after joining the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. The house is currently owned and operated as an historic house museum by the historic preservation group, National Trust for Historic Preservation.In September 2008, the house was flooded by rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Water levels reached about 18in above the floor and the 5foot stilts upon which the house rests. Much of the furniture was saved by elevating it above the flood waters. The house was closed to the public for the remainder of 2008 for repairs and reopened for public visitation in spring 2009.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • For all architecture fans, a place that should be on your bucket list! We had an excellent tour guide, and enjoyed everything about it ...the history, the location, the design. It was simply wonderful...  more »
  • This icon of modern architecture is worth the 1 hour drive from Chicago Thanks to Mac for his knowledge and explanations and to Ellen for the kindness . Beautiful place 
  • For lovers of the history of architecture that is an essential visit. From just the books can't have the faintest idea. The visits are guided and the guide is excellent. And the House is fabulous. It is 1 hour from Chicago, but it has not the slightest importance, given that you will find there.
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Google
  • Fantastic piece of building art. Pictures don't do it justice, you must see it in person to truly appreciate this masterpiece.
  • I wasn't very happy to go out so far from the city to just go see a house. But what a surprise!!!!! This is a marvel!!! Worth every penny!
  • When I looked at the house on line I was wondering why this was so popular and why is this tiny house have its own tour? I came to this house via a Living Social Deal for $10. I would have never paid the $25 regular admission price. The tour was actually pretty cool. The volunteer guide takes the group through the forest to get to the house so the moments leading up to it are enjoyable too especially in the fall. Our guide really knew his stuff. He gave a lecture inside the house and out. There is a nice little history behind the house and its residents. No photography inside unless you pay for the photography permit. The permit only allows you 5-10 minutes of photog time at the end of the tour. After the tour you can go back to the welcome center and watch the PBS documentary.
  • The Farnsworth house on of very few dwellings designed by Mies Van der Rohe. It is on the outskirts of Chicago, along the Fox River. The property is very wooded, and incorporates nature with a living space. The building may only be entered by guided tour, with an additional indoor camera permit available. There is a visitor center with a movie and gift shop. There is also another exhibition space housing Dr Farnsworth's wardrobe. Having seen photos of the building, I was utterly awestruck when I saw the actual structure. It is a rather small space, and preservation efforts are ongoing. The furniture is all of the type the architect would probably have placed in the building. A must for architecture buffs.
  • It is only an hour tour at 25.00 regardless of age is a bit pricey. We paid less visiting the field museum for the whole day