Sunday, December 1, 2013

Robie House Tour

Two weeks ago, I finally went on a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House in Chicago. I've read Blue Balliet's book Chasing Vermeer that features the Robie House. Since then, I have wanted to visit and tour the Robie House and then I discovered that they have Robie House tours based on Chasing Vermeer and led by actual students. 
I convinced my sister and my friend Jennifer to come along with me on the tour. When my sister picked us up, she proudly showed us a jar of blue M&Ms. I had completely forgotten they ate blue M&Ms in the book. I did remember them eating Swedish Fish and talking about red herrings and all about Tommy and his Pentominos. If you haven't read any of the books from this series, they really are wonderful mysteries. The characters are great and we get to see how their friendship evolves. Besides the mystery, there are elements of art mixed in throughout in such a crafty way. They are all great books.
We weren't sure what to expect as we followed the GPS directions and meandered slowly towards the Robie House but as soon as it was in view, we spotted it right away. It's definitely unique and sits grandly amidst other more common buildings.
Our tour guide was a girl who looked like she might be in middle school or high school. She did a great job of pointing out aspects of Frank Lloyd Wright's creativity and dedication to style that I may have never noticed or known to appreciate. She also stopped along the way and pointed out places where important things happened in Chasing Vermeer
It's hard to tell from this picture but our tour guide explained that Frank was all about horizontal lines for the Robie House so the mortar that was vertical in between the bricks was painted to be a darker color so it would seem like there were just rows of horizontal bricks.
This next picture was taken from down below looking up at one of the balconies where the construction worker would have fallen and been hurt in the book Chasing Vermeer. As our tour guide pointed out, this house was built to stop people on the outside from being able to look in. It definitely would have been hard to spot someone if he or she had fallen and gotten hurt here.
One of the main parts of the book has to do with the man they can see in the art glass windows. Each of these large glass panes are actually doors leading from the basement of the house to the outer play area for kids. You'll notice that there aren't any door handles on the outside of the house and this was intentional because safety was a main theme in the Robie House. This art glass is all over the house, here is a far away picture where it's kind of hard to see him.
Here is a close up:
And here is me...being a dork but also having fun. See? I'm just like the art glass man! 
This was such a great addition to my Bookish Un-Boring List for 2013. I'm so glad we made it to the Robie House and would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who visits Chicago and is look for a bookish adventure. 

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