Monday, September 04, 2006

Unity Temple

Back in August, before leaving for my trip to Oklahoma, I sidled over to Oak Park to take a tour of Unity Temple. We had a HORRIBLE tour guide, definitely the worst I've ever met. She talked for 45 minutes about nothing, and then quit halfway through the tour, complaining of pains or something. But...I did get some nice pictures.



Our "guide" went so far as to claim that Unity Temple was the "first modernist building in the world." Somehow It isn't thar, however, it is fairly modern for its time. Built in 1905 on an extremely modest budget on a narrow lot in the middle of Oak Park (as close to proto-Chicago in scale and construction as a suburb can get), it was constructed of concrete. Being a product of its time, however, the concrete is ornamented on the exterior columns of the building.

Frank Lloyd Wright was, of course, the architect. He was a member of the congregation at the unitarian church at the time, hence him getting the commission. This was one of his earliest reinforced concrete buildings. However, in typical Wright style, it has generous amounts of art glass. The nature-like greens, yellows, grays echo of his prairie style work.

More pictures later.