Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Winslow House

Located outside of Chicago in River Forest, Ill., the Winslow House was Wright's first major commission as an independent architect. Take a peek inside this landmark home.
By: Francesca Robin
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Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo By: Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Illuminated Exterior

The pretty symmetry of the Winslow, seen here in this illuminated exterior shot. We can't help noting a bit of movie trivia about River Forest: Chris Columbus, the director who brought the magic to the first two Harry Potter films, had a home in the neighborhood.

Magnificent Grounds

According to the listing, there's a carriage house, suitable for in-laws, on the grounds. A horse stable received the modern treatment, now updated as a parking space.

Stunning Entry Gallery

"In the end, he is asking us not just to live and like his houses the way an artist might want you to like his paintings. He's asking you to rethink what a house is, and how we live," said filmmaker Ken Burns about his 1998 documentary Frank Lloyd Wright produced with Lynn Novick.

Living Room

The house's lineage includes five previous owners: The Walkers bought the 5,038-square-foot River Forest commission in 1958, when Wright was somewhat out of favor with the intelligentsia, said Peter Walker, son of the late William S. Walker, a Chicago-born big band arranger and Mad Men-era jingle writer remembered for A&W root beer and Wrigley's chewing gum spots. "My father loved Frank Lloyd Wright and wanted to own one of his houses," he said.

Kitchen

A blizzard of white in this remodeled eat-in kitchen. So many attractive elements: the number of cabinets makes us salute the designer; the ceiling lighting fixtures; that sink on the island counter space. It's all just begging you to get messy baking a batch of lasagna.

Ceiling Detail

The immaculate Winslow steps up its historic and contemporary cachet with four fireplaces, a 3-car garage, and original gorgeous oak floors. The rooms flow and join together in warm, sensuous lines, like this lovely hallway with arched ceiling connecting the dividing walls.

Dining Room

The Winslow dining room was William Walker's favorite space, according to son Peter. The built-in benches joining the curving beveled windows is a particular Wright-ism and the home includes custom-designed moveable console seating in the Reception Hall.

Exquisite Sunroom

This is one of the largest sun rooms we've seen in a Wright home. The ground-floor access offers a spacious patio for summery entertaining. Peter Walker says the furnishings aren't included in the price, but those retro-ish wicker and butter-yellow chairs are worth considering.

Second Floor Stairs

This angle of the second floor stair landing resembles a wooden harp, doesn't it? And once again, note the built-in window seating and beautiful art glass windows. Wright's designs made even the smallest or common spaces (a stairwell!) feel open and light.

Home Office

Yes, it's a home office, or a library or salon, or whatever you'd like to convert it to. What's still so fresh and surprising about Wright's work is the timelessness of his designs. Remember, this is a 19th-century home, built in 1893. (The Winslow was formerly entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.)

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