Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The George Furbeck House; 1897
The George Furbeck home is a phenomenal example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s experimental phase. During a three year period in the early portion of his career, Wright experimented with several different layouts and designs. The George Furbeck home was designed as a wedding present from Warren Furbeck, father of George Furbeck, who married Sue Allin Harrington in 1897. Warren Furbeck also commissioned Wright to design an additional home as a wedding present for his other son, Rollin, who was also married that same year.
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture: The George Furbeck House in Oak Park, Illinois
A truly experimental design, the George Furbeck house features both the traditional elements of a Queen Anne such as the turrets on the facade of the home; as well as what as been deemed as Wright’s “pre-prairie” elements. When walking up to the home, visitors will immediately notice the two octagonal turrets that flank either side of the entrance, giving the Furbeck residence a castle-like appearance.
Some historians believe that the George Furbeck home represents Wright’s search for a way to fully incorporate geometric shapes—such as the octagon—into homes, essentially breaking the mold of traditional Victorian style homes of the time and creating a new, modern and updated style. However, whether or not this was Wright’s true intentions is unclear, as no one but Wright himself will ever truly know.
Moving on through the home, knowledgable fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will also notice his early use of art glass. In the George Furbeck home, Wright used art glass windows that featured colored borders. Art glass windows would become a common sight in many of Wright’s future designs.
Renovations have been made to the home throughout the years. Most notably, in the 1920s, the front porch was enclosed to add space to the home by the owners of that time period.
The George Furbeck House Today
In 1973, the George Furbeck house was added as a contributing property to the U.S. Federal Historic District List. In 2002, it was also listed as an Oak Park Historic Landmark and today, this two story, five bedroom, three bathroom home is currently on the Market for a price of $1.1 million dollars.
Though the George Furbeck house is currently for sale, it is important that visitors keep in mind that it is still a private home. Furthermore, though the home is a historic landmark, trespassing should be avoided.