Located only an hour from where I grew up and a two-hour drive from downtown Chicago lies The Farnsworth House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's modern masterpiece. A pilgrimage site for architects and designers world-wide, it is considered one of our country’s most important modern assets. I have to admit my interest in this gem is recent, only following them on Facebook and Twitter in the last month.
My fascination with architecture started when living in Chicago in the mid-1990s. I worked on the ninth floor of a glass-box office building built in 1967 overlooking the Michigan Avenue draw bridge, the Wrigley Building, and the Chicago Tribune Tower. Our apartment on the 21st floor in Printer's Row, had a birds-eye view of that iconic of all glass and steel skyscrapers, the 110-story, once-named Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower). I was immersed in and surrounded by architectural history.
The 1585-square-foot house built in 1951 on the Fox River in rural Northern Illinois stands as a testament to one of the greatest architects of the 20th century. The portraitist Annie Leibovitz trekked to Plano, Illinois to photograph the house for her upcoming book, Pilgrimage, due out Fall 2011. And, toy giant Lego has even immortalized it in their architecture series.
Open April 1 through November 24 for guided tours. My next trip to Illinois will definitely include a visit to this rich museum.