Feeling Frank for free: Frank Lloyd Wright touch tours

August 28, 2015 • Posted in blindness, Uncategorized by

I just got word that in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is offering special tours for people with disabilities free of charge in 2015. Who knows? Maybe these Chicago ADA presentations I’ve been participating in are really making a difference!

Robie House

Robie House

The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is an ADA 25 Chicago program partner, and three of the special tours will take place in Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Chicago: the Frederick C. Robie House, The Rookery Building lobby and the Emil Bach House. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Ill., will be offering a free special tour, too. More information on these four buildings:

  1. Frederick C. Robie House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1908-10) A masterpiece on 5757 S. Woodlawn Ave, Chicago is said to be the most innovative and forward-thinking of Wright’s Prairie houses.
  2. The Rookery Building Lobby (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1905) is described as a “dramatic and stunning remodeling” of Burnham & Root’s original design. At 209 S. LaSalle, it’s just blocks away from our apartment in Chicago.
  3. Emil Bach House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1915) is a Prairie house at 7415 N. Sheridan Road in Chicago. I’d never heard of this one before, but The Frank Lloyd Trust says it “looks toward Wright’s future stylistic direction.”
  4. Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1889/1898) is where it all started –t he birthplace of Wright’s vision for a new American architecture, and it’s just an el ride away at 951 Chicago Ave, in suburban Oak Park, Ill.


The American Sign Language tour date for the Rookery Building Lobby is Wednesday, September 23 at 1:30 pm, the Emil Bach House ASl tour will be on Sunday, October 4 at 9:30 am, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio ASL tour is on October 2, at 12:00 pm.


Touch tour dates :

  • Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio on Saturday, September 19 at 4:30 pm
  • Emil Bach House on Thursday October 8 at 2:15 pm
  • Frederick C. Robie House on Sunday, October 25 at 4 pm
  • The Rookery Building Lobby on Friday, November 6 at 12:30 pm

I’m told space will be limited on these guided tours, and that if you want more information, you should contact Laura Dodd by phone at 312.994.4005 or by email at ldodd@flwright.org.

In some of the presentations I give, I try to point out some bennefits of being blind: I bring my dog along wherever I go, I walk arm-and-arm with friends when I want, and I can’t judge people by what they look like. Soon I may be able to add one more benefit to that list: I got to touch Frank Lloyd Wright artifacts when I toured his buildings!

Monna Ray On August 28, 2015 at 8:51 am


This is good news. Want to hear more about feeling Frank!


bethfinke On August 28, 2015 at 9:05 am

I just couldn’t help the illiteration: Feeling Frank for free!


Marilee On August 30, 2015 at 8:23 am

Wow! This is awesome for Frank fans! I do believe your ADA presentations are making a difference and improving lifestyles for many people.

bethfinke On August 30, 2015 at 10:37 am

Oh, so nice of you to say — it’s me and a LOT of other folks making presentations and talking the ADA anniversary up this year, not to mention the thoughtfulness of employers who send representatives from their cultural institutions to attend the presentations we give that’s making the difference — we’re doing another presentation Tuesday morning at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, it’s Chicago’s “first Cultural Accessibility Summit geared towards the leaders of cultural institutions.” I have a feeling I’ll be blogging about this afterwards, so…stay tuned! —


Touching moments in architecture | Safe & Sound blog On September 23, 2015 at 5:20 am

[…] that post I wrote about the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust offering touch tours of its historic sites this year? My friend Linda Downing Miller lives in Oak park, Ill., and last […]

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