Farnsworth House Tour

Edith Farnsworth House Tour
Wednesday, June 21
View full event details and register.

Overview and Learning Objectives

The Edith Farnsworth House, formerly the Farnsworth House, is a historical house designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and constructed between 1945 and 1951. The house was constructed as a one-room weekend retreat in a rural setting along the Fox River in Plano, Illinois.

A founder and leader of the modernist movement in Europe, Mies lived and worked in Chicago for more than 30 years. He is well known for his use of glass and steel, as well as his “less is more” philosophy. We will walk through the woods about ½ mile and view the home nestled into the landscape bordering the Fox River. The first half of the tour is outside the home; we will then proceed inside.

The history of the design and construction, personalities and relationships of the architect and owners, along with flood mitigation, conservation and restoration efforts will be explored.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how the architect and owners of the Farnsworth House interacted and the various conflicts over budget and design.
  • Analyze the historical and cultural context of mid-century architecture and how this influenced the design of the Farnsworth House.
  • Identify and discuss the design, materials and construction of the home including philosophical concepts and discover the qualities of the home that make it one with nature.
  • Understand the ever-changing floodway and flood plain issues and flood mitigation efforts since the home, which flooded several times, due to being within the floodplain of the Fox River and was ultimately relocated out of the floodway.
  • Learn about various restoration projects for windows, travertine, and steel.
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 Questions? Call the ALA office at (847) 382-0630.