The Wright in Glencoe Exhibit

This exhibit is located in the 375 Park Avenue building.   It introduces visitors to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright in our community.  It was part of the Glencoe Historical Society’s celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed subdivision in Glencoe called Ravine Bluffs.  It contains new research and many never-before-seen drawings and photographs.

The West Gallery

The West Gallery of the museum features material on Wright’s earliest projects in Glencoe, including the 1905 Glasner House, the 1906 plans for Grace Fuller and the 1907 Brigham House.  The gallery also introduces visitors to the 1912 Plan for Glencoe.  Sherman M. Booth, Commissioner of the newly organized Glencoe Park District, retained Frank Lloyd Wright and noted landscape architect Jens Jensen to design a plan for the development of downtown Glencoe and neighboring parklands.  The almost 1900 residents of this growing town had given the Park District a mandate “to protect the gateway to the Village against the encroachment of undesirable and disfiguring business structures.”

Booth had been working with Wright and Jensen on a design for his personal 15-acre estate in what would later become Ravine Bluffs and asked them to prepare the first comprehensive plan for downtown Glencoe.  The result was a proposal that was perhaps too forward thinking for this small community, but one that laid a foundation for plans to follow.  Until now, these drawings have never been studied or interpreted together as Booth, Wright and Jensen clearly intended.  In addition, the exhibit includes a three dimensional model, commissioned by the GHS, of the proposed Park Avenue Trellis, one of the Wright-designed streetscapes in the plan.

The North Gallery

The North Gallery of the museum features a display focused on the work done by Wright and Jensen for Sherman and Elizabeth Booth.  The exhibit walks visitors chronologically through the five houses that Wright designed for the Booths beginning in 1911.  Although the first design, a magnificent estate home, proved too costly to build, the other four designs were constructed.  This gallery also features new photographs and materials on Sherman Booth and his work as Wright’s attorney as well as information on Elizabeth Booth, whose extraordinary efforts in the suffrage movement helped secure the right to vote for more than 1 million Illinois women in 1913 – more than seven years before the passage of the 19th Amendment gave women that right on a national scale.

The Main Gallery

The Main Gallery of the museum tells the story of the development of Ravine Bluffs beginning with the Booths’ purchase of the land in November of 1910.  A timeline walks visitors through the steps that led to the creation of this early attempt at an exclusive Frank Lloyd Wright designed subdivision.  The exhibit also includes additional information on the homes, the bridge, the markers and the now demolished train station that make Glencoe and Ravine Bluffs unique among Wright sites throughout the world.

To view the exhibit or obtain more information on Wright in Glencoe, you can visit www.wrightinglencoe.org, or visit the Glencoe Historical Society, 375 Park Avenue, Glencoe, IL.   The museum is open every Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment.  It is best, however, to call ahead (847-835-0040) to make sure that we will be able to provide you with the best and most productive visit.