Mortgage Paid Off on Historic Chicagoland Real Estate

May 09, 2012

It took nearly 40 years, but the $260,000 mortgage on Frank Lloyd Wright’s original home and studio in Oak Park was officially paid in full this week.

Frank Lloyd Wright lived in the home he built at 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park, from 1889-1909, during the first 20 years of his inspiring architectural career. He added the studio in 1898 and it was there that he developed a new architectural philosophy known as the Prairie style.

In 1975, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust aspired to purchase the home and studio but could scrounge up only $130,000, about half of the purchase price of the historic estate. The Washington-based National Trust for Historic Preservation put up the other half and then leased the property back to the local organization at a low rate.

This week, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust announced that it has paid back that money and now owns the famed architect’s original estate free and clear.

It didn’t take 37 years to come up with the $130,000; the Wright trust has raised and invested millions of dollars over the years restoring and preserving the property, and the work is not done.

frank lloyd wright's home and studio in oak park.

Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Oak Park.


The Wright trust is now starting a fund in order to continue care and upkeep for the 123-year-old property, which attracted more than 80,000 visitors last year.

“I grew up in Oak Park and was always aware of the importance that the Home and Studio played in this community. I have discovered that so many others feel the same,” said Graham Rarity, Preservation Trust Campaign Chair and board member.

“This is an affirmation of our organization and our community.”

The Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio in Oak Park is open for touring practically every day of the year. You must pay a fee to see it, and now you know why.

Plan a visit at

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