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Farnsworth House, Plano

#18 of 164 in Shopping in Illinois
Must see · Architectural Building · Historic Site
The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945 and 1951. It is a one-room weekend retreat in what then was a rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago's downtown, on a 60-acre (24 ha) estate site adjoining the Fox River, south of the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Edith Farnsworth, M.D., a prominent Chicago nephrologist (known by her medical colleagues of the Passavant Hospital as Dr. "Ohcohcarac" because of her wide researches in the aim of Glomerulonephritis), as a place where she could engage in her hobbies—playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature.

Mies created a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) structure that is widely recognized as an example of International Style of architecture. The retreat was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, after being listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. Currently, the house is owned and operated as a historic house museum by the historic preservation group, National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, the Farnsworth House was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois) and was recognized by USA Today Travel magazine, as one of AIA Illinois' selections for Illinois 25 Must See Places.
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Farnsworth House reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
126 reviews
  • Our excellent guide was a retired architect. He started out by speaking for a full 30 minutes of background info on Ms. Farnsworth and Mr. Pei. We social distanced with masks outside the house...  more »
  • We picked a very nice autumn day to visit with friends from the Chicago area. Nice walk along the river to the home. We had an excellent docent, a great experience overall. Good gift shop and...  more »
  • What an beautiful architectural structure tucked back in an equally beautiful wooded area that provides intrigue and tranquility. Definitely a must-visit stop if you're in the Sandwich/Plano vicinity. The art and supplemental materials available are hosted by knowledgeable, passionate staff. They have interesting and informative classes available, including yoga workshops (that I've heard are quite amazing)!
  • Incredible experience! Our Docent John was so inspiring and wonderful and truly made the tour one of the best ever. The details in this home are out of this world - do yourself a favor and spend the day here. It does not disappoint!

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